Valley child killed by grenade in garden

An injured boy is carried on a stretcher at a hospital in Srinagar on Wednesday. (AFP)

Srinagar: A seven-year-old boy died and three of his cousins suffered serious injuries when a stray grenade they were playing with exploded on Wednesday in a Kashmir village where the father of a militant had died of cardiac arrest a day earlier following rumours that his son had been trapped by security forces.

Police said the kids were fiddling with the grenade in the lawn of their home in Shopian's Memander village around noon when it went off accidentally, killing kindergarten student Saliq Khursheed and injuring three of his cousins aged between six and nine years.

The children would have been in school at the time of the tragedy had it not been for a shutdown called by separatists against the death of two militants in a gunfight with the security forces in the area on Tuesday.

Memander resident Showkat Ahmad said: "Two of the injured children -Tahir, a Class V student, and Raziya, who is in Class III, are siblings. Saliq and another injured child, kindergarten student Arsalan, are cousins of the brothers."

"They had splinter injuries all over their body. Saliq had been hit by dozens of splinters," Showkat said.

One resident said the kids had hit the grenade with a stone out of curiosity.

"Some members of the victims' families claim a chopper might have dropped the grenade," another local said.

A police officer, however, said the kids were playing with the grenade when it exploded.

He said no chopper had flown over the village.

The officer said they were investigating reports that somebody might have found the grenade at Wednesday's encounter site and dropped it in the house's lawn.


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