Four killed, 60 injured in Chrar-e-Shareif blast
8 June 2001
The Times of India
SRINAGAR: At least four women were killed and 60 worshippers, mostly women and children, injured in a powerful explosion just before Friday prayers in Chrar-e-Sharief shrine in central Kashmir on Friday afternoon, the police said. The blast occurred not in the mosque, but in the premises of the famous shrine of Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani where the devotees had gathered before the prayers, police said. The explosion, however, caused no damage to the shrine. Even though no militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the blast so far, police is suspecting that the militants would have lobbed some explosive device inside the shrine complex during the Imam's sermon at around 1345 hours. However, eye-witnesses said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED). Soon after the blast, police fired several rounds in the air in self-defence and immediately cordoned off the area with the help of paramilitary forces, official sources said. Of the injured, eight were reported to be in a critical condition, hospital sources said. The blast caused panic among the several thousand devotees most of whom returned home without offering the Friday prayers.