July 2004 News

Blasts shatter Dal calm

3 July 2004
The Indian Express
Mir Ehsan

Srinagar: Splinters have pierced him everywhere but auto-rickshaw driver Feroz Ahmad (24), has only one plea ‘‘Please don’t tell my family.’’ At home, he has a blind brother and four young sisters to support. • 3- yr-old Munazah was sitting on her mother’s lap in a bus, on way to Lal Ded Hospital, when a splinter hit her forehead. • 21-yr-old Mudasir and her two friends were going to take an exam when splinters pockmarked their bodies. They are now lying at the trauma ward of SMHS Hospital. Militants today triggered two powerful explosions in the city and Anantnag town, four days after a Lashkar- e-Toiba module was busted here. Around 9.30 am, when the Dalgate crossing in Srinagar was buzzing with commuters, a powerful IED hidden in a handcart went off. Two passersby were killed and 20 injured — most of them school-going children and college students. The handcart was driven by militants, posing as fruit sellers, and was blown to pieces in the blast. The crossing is the nerve centre of the city’s traffic and is regularly used by the CM, his Cabinet colleagues, senior civil and police officials, besides tourists and common people. Police and security forces immediately cordoned off the area. ‘‘By detonating IEDs on roads, the militants are trying to derail the ongoing peace process,’’ said Inspector-General of Police K. Rajendra. Anxious relatives and friends of the injured were seen outside SMHS Hospital. Munazah’s mother Shazia Akther said ‘‘It was a horrible sight. I saw many people lying in a pool of blood on the road.’’ Later in the afternoon, militants lobbed grenades at an Army vehicle in Anantnag town. The explosion at the crowded Janglat Mandi area injured 23 people, official sources said.


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