Indian police have arrested an alleged member of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group after a grenade attack killed at least two people and injured more than 30 others.
Last month a suicide attack against security forces triggered cross-border air strikes between India and Pakistan. Hizbul Mujahideen has said it was not behind Thursday’s attack. But police told BBC Urdu that the accused, Yasir Javed Bhat, had confessed. He is a Kashmiri and reported to be in his 20s.
“He revealed that he was tasked with throwing the grenade by Farooq Ahmed Bhat, a district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in Kulgam district,” inspector general Manish Kumar Sinha said.
Mr Sinha added that they were gathering more intelligence on Yasir.
Hizbul Mujahideen was formed in 1989 when an armed insurgency against Indian rule first broke out in the valley. It was the largest Kashmiri militant group through the 1990s and is considered to be pro-Pakistani.
India has blamed Pakistan for supporting militancy in the region – a charge Islamabad denies. This has long been a source of tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours as groups based in Pakistan have carried out deadly attacks on Indian soil. The suicide attack last month killed more than 40 central reserve policemen in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Tensions between the two sides escalated quickly. India carried out air strikes against what it said was a militant camp based in Pakistan and the latter retaliated with air raids of its own.
An Indian fighter jet was shot sot down in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and the pilot was captured. Two days later, Pakistan handed over the pilot to Indian officials establishing a fragile truce.