October 2001 News

Suicide attack in J&K assembly kills 29

1 October 2001
The Times of India

SRINAGAR: In an audacious attack, a suicide squad of three pro-Pakistan militants on Monday stormed the heavily fortified Jammu and Kashmir assembly building leaving 26 people dead before two of them were killed in a prolonged gun battle. Sixty-three people were injured in the attack and the subsequent exchange of fire with the security personnel. Remains of the car used in the J&K assembly bombing. The militants, masquerading as police personnel, hijacked an official vehicle, put a huge quantity of explosives in it and drove it to the assembly complex where they rammed the Tata Sumo into the main gate setting off a huge explosion. One militant, who drove the vehicle, was blown up even as his two accomplices stormed the building taking some employees as hostage. Director general of police A K Suri said 26 people including security personnel and legislative council staff were killed while the two holed up militants set on fire a portion of the council building in their bid to escape. However, they were shot dead. An official spokesman said among those killed were 11 security personnel, 12 civilians, a traffic constable and two college girls. Three council staff, including Abdul Qayoom and Mohammad Shafi, assistant secretary and under secretary, were among the killed. Pakistan-based militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred at 2 pm soon after ministers, MLAs and most of the employees had left the complex. Two BSF jawans were shot dead by the holed up militants on Monday evening when they tried to storm the building where the ultras had taken 12 employees of the council as hostage, the spokesman said. He said about 100 people including deputy speaker of the assembly, Ghulam Hyder, were rescued by the BSF troops from the besieged complex. Barring Sadiq Ali, a ruling national conference member of the assembly who was injured, all ministers, MLAs and senior officials were safe as they had left the complex just before the devastating attack took place. The speaker of the assembly, Abdul Ahad Vakil, who was believed to be in the complex at the time of the attack had also left the complex before the deadliest attack, the spokesman said. Nineteen of those killed have been identifed. They included Mohammed Shafi Bhat, Mohammed Shafi Wani, Rouf Ahmed Khan, Khurshid Ahmed, Mohammed Akbar Wani, Bashir Ahmed, Guljar Ahmed, Ashok Kumar, Abdul Gani Waghe, Humera Masood, Lal Mohan Paswan, Rohit Sadu, H K Handoo, A B Rehman Sheikh, Shafaq Ahmed, Chowdhary Hasan Mir and Rajkumar.


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