Two people were killed and 13 others injured, some of them critically, when a powerful explosion rocked a bus near Manda on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Wednesday morning, official sources said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Farooq Khan said militants may have planted a time deviced explosive on the bus before it left the Jammu bus stand.
The Udhampur-bound bus carrying carrying 15 to 20 passengers caught fire soon after the explosion around 0625 hours, sources said.
Some passengers were thrown out of the bus under the impact of the blast, the sources said.
Local residents carried the injured passengers to the Jammu Medical College hospital where two people succumbed to their injuries, they said. The condition of several passengers, including some women, is stated to be critical, hospital sources said.
The fire has been brought under control, the sources said, adding the bus was completely gutted.
Eyewitnesses said a large crowd raised slogans against state Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for his alleged failure to protect the lives of citizens.
In another incident, three people, including a sarpanch, were reportedly killed by militants early on Wednesday at
Haihama village in south Kashmir's Kupwara district.
The sarpanch has been identified as Mohammad Yousuf Dar while the other two, believed to be National Conference
workers, were yet to be identified, they said.
Residents of the area have staged a march towards the district headquarters to protest the killings, police sources said, adding that local officials were trying to persuade the demonstrators to disperse to avoid a law and order problem.
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