Blast in Indian Occupied Kashmir leaves 18 injured

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The injured have been admitted to the nearest hospital with at least 3 people in critical condition.

IGP Jammu, MK Sinha initially said: "It was a grenade explosion, all the injured have been shifted to a hospital".

The man who allegedly threw a grenade at a bus at the Jammu bus stand has been arrested, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbagh Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Inspector General of Police Manish Kumar Sinha said the grenade rolled under the parked bus that was headed to Uttarakhand. "I went to the spot of the explosion and saw about a dozen people were badly injured". Most of the injured, an officer said, are bus drivers and conductors.

The police have cordoned off the area and are conducting a preliminary investigation. Some vehicles in the vicinity have also been damaged in the blast.

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In response, India said it carried out airstrikes on 26 February on what it called a JeM training camp at Balakot inside Pakistan.

Taking cognizance of the grenade blast, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said that forces have been given a free hand to take necessary steps. The locals helped the injured and escorted them to the ambulances, the eyewitness further told a TV channel. "It shows the total failure of the central and state governments in dealing with such situations, as it is the third blast in the bus stand area in the recent past", he added.

India has long accused Islamabad of supporting the insurgents and the attack was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a militant group based in Pakistan.

Earlier today, a gunbattle broke out between the security forces and the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Handwara.