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Kashmiri bombing kills 33 Indians

Los Angeles Times

NEW DELHI, India – A day after India swore in its new prime minister, separatist Kashmiri militants set off a remote-controlled bomb that killed 33 people in a bus carrying Indian troops and their families to a vacation spot.

The bomb exploded with such force that it ripped apart the bus and engulfed it in flames, state police inspector-general Rajendra Kumar said.

“As a result, most of the victims were trapped inside and charred to death,” he added.

Indian intelligence and police sources said more than 200 pounds of military-grade plastic explosives were hidden in a narrow culvert under the main highway through the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The blast, which occurred just hours before Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held his first Cabinet meeting, was the most deadly militant assault in two years, said Krishnaswamy Srinivasan, deputy inspector-general of the Border Security Force.

The attack was seen as an early test for Singh, who was sworn in as India’s prime minister Saturday after a week of political turmoil that followed the victory of his Congress Party-led alliance. Singh is expected to name his Cabinet ministers today.

The dead included 14 BSF paramilitary soldiers, six women, three children, and some male relatives of the soldiers.

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