1 Killed, 16 Hurt In Kashmir Car Blast

1 Killed, 16 Hurt In Kashmir Car Blast

22 March 2012
Deccan Chronicle
Yusuf Jameel

Srinagar: At least, one person was killed instantly and 16 persons, including three security personnel and a woman civilian were injured in a car bomb explosion at Bijbehara, a highway town about 50 km south of Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar, on Thursday. Officials on the spot said the person killed by the blast was reportedly driving the Maruti 800 car and suspected him to be a militant. However, a police handout issued here in the evening said, “The identity of the deceased person could not be ascertained.” Witnesses said over the phone that the car has been reduced into rubble of steel and the person on board was blown into pieces, making it almost impossible for the authorities to establish his identity. Five ambulances were seen removing the injured to Srinagar hospitals. While officials confirmed 12 civilians, mostly commuters and bystanders, and three CRPF jawan were injured, a witness claimed counting 25 persons being removed from the scene after they sustained splinter injuries. The injured CRPF personnel were deployed on road opening duties, the police said. Anantnag SSP Ramesh Jalla told reporters, “A suspected militant was driving the car when bomb exploded apparently accidentally”. He added that the initial reports suggest the car’s driver died on the spot and 16 people passing by on the road were wounded. Another officer said, “We’re trying to identify the dead person and also to find out what was the actual target of the militants.” The bomb went off near a police station along the Srinagar-Jammu highway. The car was moving on the busy highway through Bijbehara town when the blast occurred. This is the first such incident in many months in Jammu and Kashmir where Muslim separatists are pitted against the security forces since 1989, the bloody conflict that has claimed thousands of lives so far besides leaving behind a trail of destruction of properties. However, the state has been relatively calm lately with fewer incidents of violence reported. Tension gripped the town following the explosion.