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Militants attack tourists in Pahalgam, kill 4
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | June 12, 2004 18:22 IST
Last Updated: June 12, 2004 23:19 IST
Four tourists, including a child, were killed and 18 injured on Saturday in the resort town of Pahalgam in an explosion that seemed aimed at reversing the trend of tourists flocking to Jammu and Kashmir.
The tourists were having lunch on Saturday afternoon in Purnima Restaurant when militants tossed a grenade inside resulting in injuries to 22 persons.
"The injured were immediately taken to hospitals. However, four of them succumbed to their injuries en route. The other injured have been admitted to various hospitals in Srinagar," Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) K Rajendra told rediff.com.
Paramilitary troops and police immediately rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. Massive searches were mounted to nab the culprits. Senior officers are camping in Pahalgam to oversee the security arrangements.
"We have beefed up security at all resort towns in the valley," said a police officer.
Those killed in the explosion have been identified as Bhavesh s/o Chandrakant, Mumbai, Danish Halwai and Mustakaleem Halwai both from Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh and an unidentified child.
Officials said 13 injured tourists were late on Saturday evening shifted to the Soura Medical Institute for specialised treatment, as their condition is serious.
Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was quick to condemn the incident describing it as 'highly unfortunate and disturbing'. He assured adequate security for tourists visiting the valley.
Today's explosion, which triggered panic among other tourists holidaying in Pahalgam, seemed aimed at reversing this trend.
Pahalgam is located in the picturesque Lidder valley in south Kashmir's Anantnag district 85km from Srinagar. It is regarded as the ultimate destination for domestic as well as foreign tourists.
Militants carried out attacks in other places too.
Twenty persons were injured when militants hurled a grenade on a bunker, manned by Rashtriya Rifles soldiers, in Handwara town in Kupwara district. "The grenade missed the target and exploded on the road resulting in injuries to 20 civilians," an official told rediff.com.
In another incident, six security personnel were injured when militants hurled a grenade on a security force patrol at Bijbehara town in Anantnag district late on Saturday night.
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