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Blast kills 9 Indian soldiers in Kashmir

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Militant Muslim group Hizbul Mujaheedin claims responsibilty
  • Soldiers were on a bus traveling from northern district of Kupwara to Srinagar
  • Army: Wounded soldiers were airlifted to the army hospital there
  • Blast comes day after 35 troops and civilians were wounded in grenade attack
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From CNN's Mukhtar Ahmad
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SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir (CNN) -- A blast from an improvised explosive device Saturday killed nine Indian soldiers and wounded 14 traveling in an army convoy, an army spokesman said.

The soldiers were on a bus driving from the northern border district of Kupwara to Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar. The wounded soldiers were airlifted to the army base hospital there, he said.

The militant Muslim group Hizbul Mujaheedin on Saturday evening claimed responsibility for the attack. Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and is claimed by both.

The attack took place 15 kilometers (9 miles) north of Srinagar.

It came a day after four Indian paramilitary troopers, two police officers and 29 civilians were wounded in a grenade attack in Banihal, south of Srinagar.

Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and cilaimed by both, has been in the throes of a bloody separatist campaign for the past 18 years. Although the official death toll is 43,000, human rights groups and nongovernmental organizations put that figure at more than twice that number.

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