WRAP Islamic militants attack political rally leaving 7 dead, 20 injured
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- ℹ️ Description
2. UPSOUND: gunfire, cameraman crouches on ground with rally goers
3. Various of rally goers crouching
4. Various of Indian soldier firing shots in direction of Islamic attackers' gunfire
5. Various people running along street
6. Various of police crouched down on the street, AUDIO of gunfire
7. Man walking out of stadium with his arms raised
8. Policeman taking cover behind a wall, AUDIO of gunfire
9. Long shot of dead body on the ground, policeman sitting next to it
10. Police and civilians hiding behind a wall
11. Policemen hiding behind wall, AUDIO of gunfire
12. Journalists running towards the camera, AUDIO of gunfire
13. Policemen crawling along the ground, AUDIO of gunfire
14. Various of police standing around body of dead militant
15. Various of senior police official being lifted onto trolley and moved to operating theatre
Suspected Islamic militants hurled grenades and fired bullets into a crowd at a ruling Congress Party rally in Indian-administered Kashmir on Sunday, killing five people and wounding at least 20 others before two of the attackers were killed, officials said.
About 3,000 people had assembled inside a park in the city of Srinagar to observe the anniversary of the death of former Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi when the assault happened.
Two policeman and three civilians died and three senior police officers were wounded in the attack, police said.
The injured officers included top-ranking Inspector General of Police K. Rajendra Kumar, police said.
Security forces killed two of the attackers, who were dressed as policemen.
A doctor at a nearby hospital said he received at least 17 wounded people, two of them in serious condition.
They were hit by bullets and splinters from grenade explosions.
The militants hurled at least two grenades, police said.
Security forces tried to evacuate the crowd amid an exchange of fire with the militants.
The total number of attackers was not immediately clear and police said they were searching the area for more militants.
Two militant groups, Al Mansoorian and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, claimed responsibility for the attack.
One of the attackers is believed to have entered the venue dressed as a policeman and was the first to open fire.
Other militants hiding nearby gave him cover by hurling grenades and firing bullets into the crowd.
The attack occurred minutes before the arrival of Jammu-Kashmir state's top elected official, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The president of the Congress party in the state, Pirzada Mohammed Sayeed, who was on a podium when the assault occurred escaped unhurt.
Sayeed described the attack as "an attempt by militants to disrupt next week's peace talks" between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Kashmiri separatist groups which shun violence and favour a negotiated settlement to the dispute over control of the Himalayan region.
In New Delhi, the federal government said the "talks will be held as per schedule."
Earlier Sunday, four Islamic militant groups threatened to sabotage the talks.
More than a dozen Islamic militant groups have been fighting in India's portion of Kashmir for the region's independence or its merger with mostly Muslim Pakistan.
The insurgency has claimed more than 66,000 lives, mostly civilians, since 1989.