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J&K: 3 CRPF troopers killed in blast

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: January 23, 2007 20:50 IST
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Three Central Reserve Police Force troopers were killed and five others wounded in a powerful landmine explosion triggered by militants in Brar Badina village, 45 km from Srinagar in the south Kashmir Anantnag district on Tuesday afternoon.
A senior CRPF officer told that militants set off a pre-planted improvised explosive device in Brar Badina village as a CRPF vehicle carrying soldiers was passing by on the road.
"Eight CRPF soldiers travelling in the vehicle were wounded in the massive IED blast," said Prabhakar Tripathy, spokesman of the CRPF.
"Three of the critically wounded troopers succumbed to injuries in the Soura Medical Institute here. All the injured troopers were admitted to the institute after evacuation from the explosion site. Two other injured troopers are also stated to be in a critical condition," he said.
The spokesman said the CRPF vehicle was destroyed in the massive blast, which triggered widespread panic in the area as the sound of the blast was heard in adjacent villages.

Tension is high in the area where additional security forces have been rushed to mount searches.
Frontline militant group Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Security forces are on maximum alert in the entire Kashmir Valley in view of the forthcoming Republic Day.
Paramilitary forces and state police have sped up security drills by increasing the frequency of cordon and search operations in the Valley.
Separatist groups have called for a general shutdown on Republic Day.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar