Child dies in blast in Jammu, hours after militants killed four in same village

Police said minority Hindus were target of attacks, amid high tension in northern Indian territory

An Indian Army soldier near Jammu city, where four militants were killed last week by security forces who stopped a suspicious lorry. AP
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A child was killed in a bomb blast in a village India's northern Jammu territory on Monday morning — hours after four villagers died in a suspected militant gun attack there.

A device exploded at Dangri village, Rajouri region, fatally injuring a child and severely injuring five others people — including one in a critical condition, police said.

This came hours after two suspected militants forced their way into three homes on Sunday evening and opened fire indiscriminately, said officers. They killed four people and injured nine.

“A blast occurred near the house of the victim of yesterday's firing incident in Rajouri's Upper Dangri village. One child has succumbed to injuries. Five people were injured, one critical,” Mukesh Singh, additional director general of Jammu Police said.

“Another suspected IED [improvised explosive device] was spotted, which is being cleared.”

Three villagers were killed and 10 injured in the gun attack incident late on Sunday. One of the injured subsequently died at Government Medical College in Jammu, said police.

Two of the injured, who were in a “very critical” condition, were airlifted to an advanced hospital in Jammu city for specialist treatment, Dr Mehmood H Bajar, medical superintendent at Government Medical College said.

Police said two militants entered Dangri around 7pm and within 10 minutes attacked the homes belonging to the minority Hindu community. They fled after the attack.

A search operation is under way and security forces have cordoned off the area, Mr Singh said.

Deeraj Kumar, the village head, said gunshots were first heard around 7pm, and after that their intensity increased.

Villagers protested outside the hospital, venting their anger against security forces and intelligence agencies for failing to protect their community.

Local right-wing groups have called for a strike to protest against the killings and have asked all transport services to remain suspended in the village.

The security forces killed at least four suspected militants in a gun battle last Wednesday, after stopping a lorry near Jammu city.

Jammu and Kashmir territory shares a border with Pakistan. India and Pakistan each govern part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety.

The area has witnessed an upsurge in armed violence following New Delhi’s 2019 decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its limited autonomy and bringing it under direct control.

Updated: January 02, 2023, 8:15 AM
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