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Suicide bomber strikes in Srinagar

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: May 23, 2006 21:19 IST
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About 25 Border Security Force troopers were injured, three of them seriously, in a deadly suicide car bombing near Peerbagh on the high security Srinagar airport road on Tuesday evening.

Those injured in the bombing include four officials of the BSF.

A senior police officer told that a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a bus carrying BSF personnel.

"The BSF bus was extensively damaged in the blast. 25 BSF troopers, including four officials, were injured in the explosion. The condition of four is stated to be serious," the officer said.

The vehicle used for carrying out the suicide attack was completely destroyed, he added.

Senior police and security force officers have reached the spot. BSF spokesman V S Manhas said the bus was on way to the residential complex of the border security force at Humhama and was carrying 45 personnel.

The incident, which occurred around 1850 hours, comes a day ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir for the second roundtable conference.

The Pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A person, who identified himself as Hizbul spokeman Ehsan Ilahi, called up the offices of local media in Srinagar to claim responsibility. The spokesman said one of its fighters carried out the bombing.

With UNI inputs

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar