Srinagar: In a series of terror attacks in Kashmir, large parts of which will vote on Tuesday in a staggered election, 13 people were killed today. In addition to a civilian, nine soldiers and three policemen were killed, marking the heaviest losses for security forces in the state in over six years.
Kashmir has held two of five phases of voting, with a record number of people participating in the election, defying a boycott called by separatists.
The attacks were carefully coordinated according to army sources and were condemned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "desperate attempts to derail the atmosphere of hope and goodwill as seen by increased voter turnout."
One of the four attacks today was at Srinagar, where PM Modi is due to campaign on Monday. Two terrorists were killed after they opened fire on a police post in the heart of the city.
In the border town of Uri, just 100 km away, an army camp was the target of a massive suicide attack early this morning, which exacted the maximum casualties. Nine soldiers, including an officer, and three policemen were killed.
Two people were killed in grenade attacks in Tral and Shopian.
Top police sources in Jammu and Kashmir told NDTV it was "no coincidence" that the attacks took place as terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed held a rally across the border in Lahore.
"I think Pakistan should try to stop these incidents, if they can't they should speak to India about it," said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The result of the state election will be announced on December 23. Led by an expansive campaign by the Prime Minister, the BJP is making its most serious bid yet for the state, banking on votes in the Hindu-majority Jammu and Buddhist Ladakh areas. It is also capitalising on the rise of independents and splits elsewhere in Muslim-majority Kashmir.