Six persons were killed and 18 injured in a car bomb blast on Wednesday near the residence of outgoing chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in Nawgam area of Srinagar [ Images ].
The death toll may go up as some of the injured, who are undergoing treatment at Sardar Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, are in critical condition.
Azad, who had gone back to Delhi [ Images ] for consultations with the congress high command, is expected to be back by afternoon.
The car bomb explosion took place nearly three kilometers from the route that he would have taken to travel to the city.
Speaking to rediff.com, Gopal Sharma, director general of Jammu and Kashmir police, said good intelligence work had led to the timely detection of the car loaded with explosives.
"We had specific information that a white Maruti 800 [ Images ] car would be heading towards the city from South Kashmir to detonate the car bomb. We intercepted the car near Bakshi Stadium but the car driver managed to give a slip. We intercepted it again near Nawgam. When challenged by the naka constable the terrorist tried to run away from the place but the constable chased him. The terrorist then exploded the car bomb with a detonator and was killed in the process along with two constables and a woman passer by. Many people were injured in the blast," Sharma told rediff on phone.
Two of the injured succumbed to injuries in the hospital.
Kashmir police has now placed the para military forces on full alert in order to prevent any other attack.
"This is not knew. The terrorists had fired three rifle grenades at the Nawgam residence of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on November 2, 2002, hours before Sayeed took over as the chief minister of the state. Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed the responsibility to say that the militants are around," said K Rajendran, former inspector general of Kashmir range of Jammu and Kashmir police.