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Twin blasts rock J&K, 24 injured

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: November 14, 2006 17:55 IST
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Even as the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan began talks in New Delhi to further improve relations between the two countries, militants carried out two powerful blasts -- one targeting a Central Reserve Police Force camp in Srinagar and the other targeting an army convoy in the north of the Kashmir Valley.

Fifteen persons, including 6 policemen and 4 Central Reserve Police Force troopers, were injured in a massive car bomb explosion near a CRPF camp at Karan Nagar in Srinagar.

The injured have been admitted to the nearby hospital, police said, adding that the condition of 2 of the injured is stated to be critical. The area has been cordoned off and extensive search operations are on.

Another 9 persons, including 2 soldiers and an army major, were injured when militants triggered a powerful improvised explosive device near a bus stand in Baramulla town.

The IED, planted on the roadside near the bus stand by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants, exploded when an army vehicle was passing through the district town, damaging the vehicle and causing minor injuries to a major and two of his guards, officials said.

They six civilians were also injured as a truck carrying them was caught in the impact of the powerful blast, the sound of which reverberated through the entire town.

"Nine persons including three army troopers and six civilians were wounded when militants exploded a landmine they had planted besides an electric pole in Khanpora area of Baramulla town on the highway Tuesday afternoon. The injured army troopers include a major and two soldiers," said  Sheikh Junaid, additional superintendent of police, Baramulla district.

The injured were rushed to hospital where the condition of two of the civilians including the truck driver was stated to be serious, they said. Security forces cordoned off the whole area and a have launched a search for the militants involved in the attack.

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the Baramulla blast.

The massive explosion led to disruption of traffic on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway. The area was cordoned and searched by police and security forces.

With PTI inputs

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar