At least 30 injured in grenade attack in Pakistan at Kashmir rally

KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) - At least 30 people were injured in a grenade attack on a rally in Karachi on Wednesday, as Pakistan marked the first anniversary of India’s revocation of Kashmir’s semi-autonomy.

FILE PHOTO: Police officers guard at the cordoned site after, according to police a grenade attack was carried out on a rally by the supporters of religious and political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) to mark the "Day of Exploitation in Kashmir" one year after the Indian government split the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two federally controlled territories and took away its special privileges, in Karachi, Pakistan August 5, 2020. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo

The wounded were rushed to different hospitals, where one was in a critical condition, an official from the provincial health department said.

“A grenade was lobbed in the rally, causing several casualties,” Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told Reuters.

The attack was claimed by Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army, a separatist outfit that has become active in the past months.

In June, four people were killed including two soldiers in three consecutive explosions claimed by the SRA.

The group wants Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, to break from the Pakistani federation. It has also announced its alliance with the Balochistan Liberation Army, a militant group fighting for greater autonomy for the Balochistan region in southwestern Pakistan.

The attack took place as similar rallies were held across the country. The Karachi rally, organised by Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious right party, was called off after the attack.

Last August, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped Jammu and Kashmir - India’s only Muslim-majority state - of its special rights and split it into two federally administered territories.

The government said the change was necessary to develop the revolt-torn region and integrate it with the rest of India, but it infuriated many Kashmiris as well as neighbouring Pakistan.

Kashmir is claimed in full by India and Pakistan, which have gone to war twice over it, and both rule parts of it.

Indian authorities deployed troops and curbed public movement on Wednesday to stop potential protests in Kashmir.

Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Editing by Alison Williams