India has called for sanctions against the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group it says carried out Thursday’s suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Delhi asks for the leader of the Pakistan-based group to be listed as a terrorist by the UN. The attack has killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police and has been the worst in decades in the region.
Pakistan said it was gravely concerned by the bombing but rejected allegations that it was responsible for it. The bomber used a vehicle packed with explosives to ram into a convoy of India’s security forces. It is the deadliest militant attack on Indian forces in Kashmir since the insurgency against Indian rule began in 1989.
Both India and Pakistan claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir but only control parts of it.
The attack has been widely condemned around the world, including by the US and the UN Secretary General.
India has tried several times to list Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Maulana Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” at the UN security council. But the attempts were repeatedly blocked by China, an ally of Pakistan.
What’s the background?
There have been at least 10 suicide attacks since 1989 but this is only the second suicide attack to use a car.
Prior to Thursday’s bombing, the deadliest attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir this century came in 2002, when militants killed at least 31 people at an army base in Kaluchak near Jammu, most of them civilians and relatives of soldiers.
At least 19 Indian soldiers were killed when militants stormed a base in Uri in 2016. Delhi blamed that attack on the Pakistani state, which denied any involvement.
The latest attack also follows a spike in violence in Kashmir that came about after Indian forces killed a popular militant, 22-year-old Burhan Wani, in 2016.
More than 500 people were killed in 2018 – including civilians, security forces and militants – the highest such toll in a decade.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars and a limited conflict since independence from Britain in 1947 – all but one were over Kashmir.
Who are Jaish-e-Mohammad?
Started by cleric Masood Azhar in 2000, the group has been blamed for attacks on Indian soil in the past, including one in 2001 on the parliament in Delhi which took India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
It is also said to have introduced suicide bombings in Kashmir, with the first such attack taking place in 2000.
It has been designated a “terrorist” organisation by India, the UK, US and UN and has been banned in Pakistan since 2002. However Masood Azhar remains at large and is reportedly based in the Bahawalpur area in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Previous Indian efforts to have him designated a terrorist by the UN have been blocked by China.
India has also demanded his extradition from Pakistan but Islamabad has refused, citing a lack of proof.Shared by: