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Blasts at Srinagar's city centre, 1 dead

By Mukhtar Ahmed in Srinagar
Last updated on: July 29, 2005 23:55 IST
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One Central Reserve Police Force Jawan was killed and several others were injured as militants on Friday attacked the busy Budshah Chowk area in Srinagar.

The attack triggered a heavy exchange of fire with security forces.

A police vehicle was on fire after a grenade thrown by militants hit it, official sources said.

The injured media persons were two TV cameramen and two press photographers.

The condition of Muzaffar, the Sahara television cameraman who sustained a bullet injury, is serious, doctors said.

Giving details of the attack, the sources said militants lobbed a grenade and fired indiscriminately targeting security personnel camping in a building located in the heart of the city at around 5 pm.

The security forces retaliated and in the exchange of fire four pedestrians were injured.

Militants have taken shelter in a hotel building and efforts were on to flush them out, the sources said.

Two militant outfits Al Mansoorian and Jamiat-ul Mujahideen, in separate statements to a local news agency, have claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Besides the cameramen and the press photojournalists, the other injured were one Shaukat, son of a Congress worker, two security personnel and a woman, who were rushed to a hospital.

The driver of the police vehicle, which came under fire after a bullet hit its petrol tank, escaped unhurt, the sources said.

The whole area was immediately cordoned off and intermittent firing between the militants and security forces was still on.

Panic gripped the Budshah Chowk and adjacent Lal Chowk area after the incident as shopkeepers abandoning their shops and rushed alongside pedestrians to safety, the sources said.


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Mukhtar Ahmed in Srinagar