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Bus Station Blasts Kill 18 In Kashmir

Sun., March 30, 1997, midnight

Two successive blasts rocked a bus station in the troubled northern region of Kashmir on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring 53, police and witnesses said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts. But Farooq Abdullah, the chief minister of Jammu-Kashmir state, blamed Muslim rebels who are fighting Indian security forces for independence. Jammu-Kashmir is India’s only predominantly Muslim state, and Jammu is mostly Hindu.

The blasts came as Indian and Pakistani officials met in New Delhi for the first time in three years to try to ease tensions in a territorial dispute over the mostly Muslim Himalayan region. India controls two-thirds of Kashmir, and Pakistan the rest.

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