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Srinagar: Tragedy averted as security forces defuse 3 IEDs

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar | July 18, 2005 17:50 IST

Fear and confusion gripped the entire Ganderbal township on the outskirts of Srinagar when security forces confirmed that militants had planted three improvised explosive devices on the Srinagar-Amarnath yatra route on Monday morning.

The route is used daily by thousands of yatris to reach the north Kashmir Baltal base camp of the Amarnath yatra. "A major tragedy was averted on the Srinagar-Baltal Amarnath yatra route. Traffic on the route had to be stopped after the IED's were detected and defused later," a police officer said.

Schools, banks, shops and business establishments were closed down and traffic stopped completely in this otherwise busy township when security forces started defusing the IEDS on the Srinagar-Kargil highway.

"One IED was placed under a small bridge near a local school while two others were planted on the yatra route. We detonated one of these IEDs and managed to defuse the remaining two well before they could be set off," a senior police officer said in Srinagar.

The Srinagar-Ladakh highway is the only artery that connects the Ladakh region with the Valley. Hundreds of army trucks and civil supplies vehicles ply daily on this highway to carry men and stocks to the distant Ladakh region that remains cut off from the mainland for more than six months due to extremely inhospitable climate.

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