Blast Rocks Srinagar Ahead Of Sonia's Arrival
10 September 2007
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: A powerful blast rocked the old city of Srinagar on Monday, hours before Congress president Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to arrive in Srinagar, injuring five women personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Police said separatist guerrillas detonated a pre-planted improvised explosive device (IED) near the high-security Srinagar Central Jail at Kathidarwaza, seven km from city centre Lal Chowk, as a CRPF vehicle carrying troopers passed the area. 'Five women cops of CRPF were injured in the explosion and the vehicle was also damaged,' a CRPF spokesman said. 'All the injured have been admitted to hospital,' he added. The blast came just hours before United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi was to arrive here for a day's visit. According to an official spokesman, Sonia is scheduled to address a women's empowerment conference at the Sheri Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) later in the day. Tight security measures have been put in place and roads leading to the conference centre have been barricaded and blocked. Paramilitary troops are guarding the venue and other vital installations.