Kashmir bomb blast victim dies

20 March 2008
The Dawn

SRINAGAR: A victim of Wednesday’s bomb attack in occupied Kashmir has died in hospital, police said on Thursday, as troops tightened security in the disputed territory. The bomb attack on a flyover in Srinagar shattered months of relative calm in the region, which had seen a steady decline in violence following the launch of a peace process in 2004 between India and Pakistan. “One of the injured died of head injuries late Wednesday,” police officer Pervez Ahmed told AFP. Twenty-three other people were treated for wounds after the attack. Local media said two groups had claimed responsibility an outfit calling itself the Al Madina Regiment – seen as a front for the Pakistan-based Lashkar-i-Taiba – and the pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen. Mr Ahmed said that security had been tightened across Srinagar, the summer capital of occupied Kashmir and the urban hub of the freedom struggle. Policemen could be seen stopping vehicles at several points and searching for explosives. “We are in a state of alert to prevent more attacks,” he added. The blast was the worst since July last year, when seven people were killed in a bomb attack on a tourist bus. Meanwhile, a senior member of Hizbul Mujahideen was shot dead during a gunbattle in Ajas, about 50km north of Srinagar, early Thursday.