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Car bomb kills 4, injures 54 in Srinagar

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: November 16, 2005 18:28 IST
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A massive car bomb ripped Srinagar city just a day after a bloody encounter had ended in city centre Lal Chowk Tuesday evening. The attack took place outside the corporate headquarters of the Jammu and Kashmir bank barely one and a half km away from Tuesday's encounter site at Lal Chowk.

Four people were killed, including the bank guard Bashir Ahmed and 54 others, including five policemen were injured in the massive explosion.

The police said militants triggered the explosion of a parked explosive laden car when the escorted bullet proof car of a former state deputy minister reached the spot.

Usman Majid, the former deputy minister (planning) who represents north Kashmir Bandipore was among the injured who were taken to hospital by the police.

"In all 35 persons including five policemen were injured in the explosion. The condition of 16 injured persons admitted in Srinagar's SMHS hospital is very critical," said a police officer.

Several hundred staff of the bank working at the corporate and bank branches located inside the headquarters had a miraculous escape. The building's high profile architecture comprising of glass were smashed.

"The impact of the explosion resembled the recent massive earthquake. All window panes of the bank building were shattered," said a bank employee.

A taxi driver Abdul Rashid said, "It was a deafening explosion. Window panes of all the buildings here were smashed by the impact of the blast."

Paramilitary forces and police immediately surrounded the area and launched searches in the buildings around the area. The vehicle used in the bombing was blown to pieces. No group has yet admitted responsibility for the explosion.

Meanwhile, one Central Reserve Police Force trooper was killed and another injured when militants opened fire on a CRPF at Avantipura in south Kashmir.

The toll in Tuesday's Peoples Democratic Party attack is five, with 58 people injured.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar