November 2005 News

Four Dead In Kashmir Bomb Attack

16 November 2005

Srinagar: A car bomb that police say was aimed at a former state minister has killed at least four people in Indian-administered Kashmir. Usman Majid and about 60 other people were injured in the attack in the summer capital, Srinagar. Suspected militants rammed a car laden with explosives into Mr Majid's vehicle, police say. The blast follows a two-day gun battle between security forces and militants in Srinagar which killed five people. Mr Majid is now a member of the legislative assembly in Indian-administered Kashmir. He is reported to be out of danger. The explosion occurred near the headquarters of a bank in the busy central business district of the city. 'I was in a bus. There was a bang and the bus windows shattered. Everything was flying in the air... pieces of flesh and body parts came and hit the bus,' Munira Nazir, a school teacher, told the Associated Press news agency. The blast, near an intersection close to a popular tourist spot - Dal Lake - was so powerful that it could be heard several kilometres away. 'Our house shook due to the blast,' said Habiullah Lone, whose house is 3km away. A police official quoted by the AFP news agency said they had found an 'abandoned car, which we believe may be wired to explode near where the other blast occurred. We have sealed the spot to defuse it'. Political targets Mr Majid is the second former minister to survive an attempt on his life by suspected militants in two days. On Tuesday, five people were killed and over 50 wounded in a grenade attack at a public meeting addressed by former state tourism minister Ghulam Hassan Mir. Mr Mir sustained minor injuries in the attack. The sudden spurt in violence has coincided with a change of government in Indian-administered Kashmir two weeks ago. Earlier this month a suicide car bomb targeting the new leader of Indian-administered Kashmir killed four people and the bomber, police say. At least 14 people were injured in the attack, hours ahead of the swearing-in of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. A Pakistan-based Islamic militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, has claimed responsibility for that attack. In October, the state education minister Ghulam Nabi Lone was killed by suspected Islamist militants in Srinagar. A number of militant groups have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989 in an insurgency that has claimed more than 60,000 lives. India believes the militants infiltrate the area from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a charge Pakistan denies.


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