M A I N   N E W S

2 die, 35 hurt in blast near Mufti’s residence
Another blast in Anantnag injures 30
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 3
Two pedestrians were killed and 65 injured, most of them civilians, in two powerful explosions in the Kashmir valley, while three militants and three security force personnel were killed in an encounter in Baramula district today.

Two persons were killed and 35 injured, five of them seriously, in an explosion at MA Bridge near Tourist Reception Centre (TRC), less than a km away from the Chief Minister’s residence here this morning.

At least 30 persons including three security force personnel, were injured, 10 of them seriously, in a grenade explosion in Anantnag town this afternoon.

An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) kept in a handcart near MA Bridge went off at about 9-10 a.m. in the high-security area, which has frequent movement of VIPs and security forces officers and personnel. One Nazir Ahmed Dar from Pattan died on the spot, while another seriously injured, Merajuddin, later succumbed to his injuries in the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura.

The seriously injured included two police constables, identified as Shehzad Ahmed, driver, and Mohammad Jaffar. Those injured have been admitted to SMHS, Bone and Joint and SKIMS hospital here.

The Inspector-General of Police Kashmir Range, K Rajendra told reporters that the incident, ahead of the Amarnath Yatra was aimed at disturbing the prevalent peace. He said security would be further beefed up to thwart the designs of the militants, who were frustrated. He said the peaceful atmosphere attracted a good number of tourists to the valley.

The target of the attack could not be ascertained. Eyewitnesses said that there were no security force personnel or vehicles at the time of the explosion. The movement of VIPs in the area towards MA Road near the Corporate Headquarters of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank starts shortly before 10 am when the offices open. The incident took place hardly four days after the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Mr Gopal Sharma, claimed to have busted the entire network of Lashkar-e-Toiba, responsible for six suicide attacks in the area during the last two years.

In another powerful explosion, at least 30 persons, including three Army jawans, were injured when militants hurled a grenade towards a patrol party at Janglat Mandi in Anantnag town at 12.45 pm today. The police said that the grenade targeted at the security forces missed the intended target and exploded on the road causing injuries to 30 pedestrians. At least 10 seriously injured were shifted to Srinagar hospitals, while others were being treated at District Hospital, Anantnag.

Three foreign militants belonging to Harket-ul-Mujahideen and three Army men were killed while another jawan was injured in an encounter at Chakreshi Pora, Aham-e-Sharief near Bandipore in Baramulla district today. The encounter ensued when a joint party of police and security forces were fired upon by hiding militants. The troops retaliated resulting in the death of three militants. The slain militants were identified as Shazad, Jabran and Chachu. Three Ak rifles and a huge quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from the spot.

Elsewhere, at least four persons, including a woman, were killed and three injured in separate incidents in Kashmir valley since yesterday.

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