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5 terror strikes during PM's visit

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: May 24, 2006 22:27 IST
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Despite stringent security arrangements on the opening day of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's roundtable conference in Srinagar, militants carried out five grenade attacks in the summer capital and Anantnag district injuring 23 people, including four Central Reserve Police Force jawans.

Suicide bomber strikes in Srinagar

The first attack took place at Qammerwari, 10 km from the venue of the conference, when militants targeted a security picket on the Srinagar-Baramulla road at around 1220 hours injuring 10 people, including two CRPF jawans, official sources said.

In another incident, a CRPF sub-inspector was injured when militants lobbed a hand grenade followed by gunfire on a security vehicle on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway in Anantnag district at around 3.45 pm, the sources said. Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Tayiba claimed responsibility for the Anantnag attack.

Later at 6 pm, militants hurled a hand grenade on security personnel at Sarafkadal in downtown Srinagar, injuring two civilians and a CRPF jawan, they said.

Militants then targetted a police station in downtown Srinagar around 7 pm, injuring four police personnel and five civilians, official sources said.

This was followed another grenade attack on a police picket in Badgam district but there were no casualties.

Meanwhile, security forces managed to foil a bid to trigger a powerful explosion in Baramulla district with the timely detection of an improvised explosive device. Patrolling forces detected a 5 kg IED planted by the militants on the main road at Khawajabagh in Baramulla on Wednesday morning, official sources said.

The area was immediately sealed and a bomb disposal squad defused the bomb foiling ultras plan to set off an explosion, the sources said.

Prime Minister arrived in the Jammu and Kashmir capital on Wednesday morning on a two-day visit to chair the round table conference, which was attended by mainstream political parties following the boycott by all the local separatist leaders and the rejection of the invitation by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

A general strike called by hardline Syed Ali Shah Geelani led All Parties Hurriyat Conference crippled life in the Valley on Wednesday. The strike closed down all the markets, public transport, schools, banks and other business establishments in the Valley.

Security is at an all time high in Srinagar with paramilitary forces and the police spread all over with heavy concentration in and around the Sheri Kashmir International Conference Centre, the venue of the round table conference.

The entire road from tourist hub Dalgate to SKICC has been barricaded with razor fitted wires and no movement is being allowed.

With PTI Inputs

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar