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Violence Surges in Disputed Kashmir Province

Escalating separatist violence in India’s Kashmir has killed at least 10 people and injured 22 others in explosions and gunfights over the past 24 hours.

In Damal Hanjipora in the Anantnag district, suspected separatist guerrillas threw a grenade at a group of security men. The grenade missed its target and landed near a crowded bus stop, wounding thirteen civilians and a paramilitary soldier.

Police sources said another bomb exploded in a shop southwest of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Later Thursday, another bomb exploded, wounding five more civilians, some seriously. No militant group has claimed responsibility for the explosions.

In the Kashmir valley, suspected rebels attacked a police station and police patrols, killing a policeman and wounding three others.

Six militants and three civilians died in separate incidents since Wednesday evening, police said.

There has been a surge in violence throughout the disputed Kashmir region throughout recent weeks. Since January, more than 550 people, mostly militants, have been killed, according to police reports.

More than 33,000 people have been killed since 1989, when Islamic guerrillas revolted, seeking either independence or union with Pakistan. Separatists put the death toll at around 80,000.

India controls 45 percent of Kashmir, and accuses Pakistan of arming and training Muslim militants to fight Indian rule there.

Pakistan controls over a third of the region, and denies India’s charge, saying it simply offers moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiri separatists. China is in control of the remaining territory.

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