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4 killed in Srinagar blast

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: July 20, 2005 12:32 IST
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Four people, three army men and a civilian, were killed and 15 people were injured on Wednesday morning in a suicide attack in Srinagar's Sonwar area.

The suicide bomber rammed his car on a passing army jeep, causing a massive explosion.

Army and paramilitary forces cordoned off the area.

The blast occurred just outside Burnhall School and anxious parents thronged the school to find out if their wards are safe.

Talking to, defence PRO Lt Col V.K.Batra confirmed three army troopers including a major died in the explosion while four army soldiers were wounded.

"The injured troopers are undergoing treatment in the army base hospital," he said.

"First there was a sound, which was followed by a tremor as ground beneath my feet seemed to shake. AS I looked around, I saw dust and shooting brick and mortar flying around," said an eyewitness.

Parents rushed to the Burnhall School to ensure that their children were safe. They were enquiring from police and hospital authorities about the injured.

The explosion was so massive that the branches of Chenar trees in the area were lay scattered on the road outside the cricket stadium.

The sound of the explosion was heard as far away as four km away.

Sonwar is the highest security zone in Srinagar. It houses senior ministers and top police police officers including Director General of Police Gopal Sharma. The residence of the chief justice of Jammu and Kashmir high court is adjacent to the bombing site.

An adjacent three-storey building housing the office Life Insurance Corporation was extensively damaged in the blast.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar