Militants Trigger Explosion in Kashmir

An Indian army truck fell into a gorge, leaving 10 soldiers dead, and two other paramilitary soldiers were killed as suspected Islamic militants triggered an explosion at a polling booth in Kashmir, officials said Friday.

At least 10 soldiers were killed and 8 others injured when a truck carrying about two dozen soldiers to an army base near the border town of Kupwara fell into a gorge, an Indian army spokesman said.

The accident occurred near the village of Sarkali, about 60 miles north of Srinagar, the summer capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state, said the spokesman, who did not want to be named.

Separately, two paramilitary soldiers died in an explosion that came as a Border Security Force team was securing the area around a school.

The school in the village of Sogam, about 70 miles north of Srinagar, was to be used as polling station during the last phase of voting on Tuesday, a police officer said as he blamed separatist militants for the explosion.

Islamic guerrillas, fighting for Indian-controlled Kashmir's independence or its merger with mostly Muslim Pakistan, have vowed to disrupt the state elections. The rebels allege elections in Jammu-Kashmir state are rigged to favor the governing pro-Indian party, the National Conference.

Final results from the four-phase voting, that ends Tuesday, are expected by Oct. 12.

More than 100 political activists and candidates have been killed in election-related violence since the polls were announced in August.

Also Friday, police said militants fired at the vehicle of Asiya Nishad, who was a candidate in the third round of voting earlier this week. There were no casualties from this incident, however.