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Teen killed in Jammu grenade attack; Hizb operative held

32 others were injured in the attack

JAMMU: A teenager was killed and 32 others were injured Thursday in a grenade attack by suspected terrorists in the crowded general bus stand area in the heart of the city, officials said.

This is the third grenade attack by terrorists in Jammu bus stand since May last year, viewed by security agencies as an attempt to disturb communal harmony and peace in the city.

Mohammad Sharik, 17, a resident of Haridwar in Uttarakhand, who was among 33 people brought to the hospital, succumbed to splinter injuries in the chest, the officials said.

The condition of four more injured persons was "critical" and two of them were operated upon by the doctors to save their lives, they said.

The injured included 11 residents of Kashmir, two from Bihar and one each from Chhattisgarh and Haryana, the officials said.

The person who threw the grenade has been arrested, police said, adding he is a Hizbul Mujahideen operative and had reached Jammu from Kulgam this morning. Police say they identified him using CCTV footage.

"Camera footage was examined and based on oral testimony of witnesses we were able to identify a suspect. He was wearing jeans and a red rucksack. We were on the lookout for anyone matching the description. The accused was arrested and he confessed to his crime. Hizbul commander from Kulgam had tasked him with the grenade attack," said Jammu and Kashmir Police's Manish K Sinha.

The police said the grenade was under a bus at a bus stand in the heart of the city. Most of the injured, an officer said, are bus drivers and conductors. It is unclear if there were people inside the bus.

Police parties along with sniffer dogs and forensic experts rushed to the spot and launched a search operation to catch the attacker, officials said.

The attack comes a week after the Indian Air Force carried out air strikes on the biggest terror camp of Jaish-e Mohammad in Pakistan's Balakot. Jaish has taken responsibility for the February 14 attack, surprising security forces who said the group's top order in the state has been wiped out.

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