M A I N   N E W S

6 tourists among 8 killed; 37 hurt
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 11
In yet another series of explosions, eight persons, including six tourists, were killed and over 40 others, were injured in six grenade explosions that rocked the uptown areas from Dalgate to the Central Lal Chowk area here today. The killed included six tourists from Kolkata and Hyderabad, four of them women. Militants hurled a grenade on their mini-bus at Dalgate, the hub of tourist activity.

The police said that militants hurled grenades at various places here, resulting in the death of eight civilians and injuries to 37 others. The first grenade was lobbed at Badyari Dalgate at 11.50 a.m., the second in Regal Chowk at 12-45 p.m., the third at Ghanta Ghar at 1.30 p.m., the fourth at Abi Guzar, the fifth at 1.40 p.m. and the sixth at 3.05 p.m. A massive manhunt was launched to track down the militants responsible for the act.

Officials here said that six tourists from Kolkata and Hyderabad were killed and 11 others were injured when suspected militants hurled a grenade towards a mini-bus carrying them at about 11.45 a.m. at Dalgate. Three persons were killed on the spot, another died on way to hospital, while the other succumbed to his injuries in the SMHS hospital. The mini-bus bearing no: JK-01-E-4474 was partially damaged in the explosion in front of Sultan Bakery in the Dalgate area, the hub of tourist activity.

Those killed were identified as Kabira Gosh Roy, Bindhu Haldar and Purabi Muzamdar from Kolkata, Sunna Bhattacharya, Chayya Bhattacharya and Preetama Bhattacharya from Hyderabad. Eleven other, including nine tourists and two locals, were also injured in the explosion.

Within an hour, a grenade was tossed at a vehicle at the posh Regal Chowk in which six persons, including two three persons, two from Lucknow and a local, were injured at about 12.40 p.m. A Maruti car, HR-01-J-5141, was damaged in the explosion.

About an hour later at around 1.30 p.m., two simultaneous explosions rocked the Lal Chowk area, one each outside the Tyndale Biscoe School and Abi Guzar locality. One person died and four others were injured in the explosion at Abi Guzar locality near the Lal Chowk, the police here said. Five pedestrians were injured in the grenade explosion which targeted a waiting passenger vehicle for Jammu on the main road outside Tyndale Biscoe School.

At least 11 others were injured in another explosion near the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) at about 3 p.m. Two of them were identified as Singh Raj and Veer Singh from Gurdaspur, Punjab. Others belong to Jammu and Rajouri areas in the Jammu region.

Unlike in the past, at least four attacks have been made on tourists here since April last, killing six of them and injuring several others. Four tourists from Gujarat were killed and six others injured when suspected militant lobbed a grenade at their vehicle in Zakura on the suburbs of Srinagar on May 25 last.

The attack took place within an hour of the departure of Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh after concluding the two-day roundtable conference here. Later, one tourist was killed in another attack at Soura here in May. A tourist from West Bengal was killed and 18 others were injured in two grenade attacks on their buses in Dalgate on May 31 last.

A series of seven explosions had on April 14 this year killed at least five persons and injured over 40 others in the same area. Nine suspected militants of the Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit responsible for the series of attacks had been arrested by the police action in a quick action in Srinagar and Ajas, Sonawar in North Kashmir.




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