Car bomb kills 9 soldiers, 21 hurt

Hizb owns responsibility

Nine soldiers of Army’s Rashtriya Rifles were killed and 21 injured some of them critically, when freedom fighters triggered a powerful car bomb near Mughal Garden at Nishat in Srinagar on Friday.

The explosive laden car was parked outside the headquarters of 114 Bn Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on the Nishat road. The freedom fighters detonated the explosives when an army convoy was passing through the route, local news agency KNS reported. One of the army vehicles came under the impact of the explosion killing nine soldiers and wounding 21 others. Four civilians were also injured. The bus was ferrying soldiers from Srinagar to Ganderbal who were coming back after spending their holidays.

The impact of the bomb was such that the car used in the blast was blown to pieces. The injured soldiers were shifted to the Badami Bagh cantonment hospital.

The injured civilians include Rafiq Ahmad Hagroo son of Abdul Aziz of Nishat and photographer Manzoor Ahmad.

The explosion shook the famed Mughal gardens. “The blast shook the entire locality, bringing people out of their houses,” KNS quoted the residents. They said the blast smashed windowpanes of many houses. The area was later sealed off by the troops and police. However no arrest was made.

KNS said the blast triggered panic among tourists, many of whom were seen boarding their vehicles and leaving in hurry.

Meanwhile, the frontline freedom fighter outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility of the attack. The spokesman of the outfit Saleem Hashmi told KNS that the explosion killed 40 personnel and injured many. The outfit has also claimed responsibility of Thursday’s Nowshara blast in which several policemen, including an SHO, were injured.

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