Srinagar: Three civilians including a woman were killed and 39 others including some security personnel were injured in a grenade blast in Tral area of Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) southern Pulwama district on Thursday.
The police sources said that the militants tossed a hand grenade towards the security forces on duty near Tral’s main bus stand as part of stepped up security for the visit of the State’s Public Works Minister Syed Naeem Akhter Andrabi.
Minister Naeem Akhtar was in the area to review development projects and inaugurate other schemes.
Speaking to a television channel, Akhtar added the attack was to subvert his outreach programme and mission of taking governance to the people.
The grenade fell on the road and exploded, killing two pedestrians including a woman on the spot and injuring forty others including seven CRPF personnel on duty. One of the critically injured civilians succumbed in a local hospital raising the death toll to three, the officials said. The dead have been identified as Ghulam Nabi Parag, Muhammad Iqbal Khan and Pinty Kour.
One report said that the grenade was thrown at the minister’s motorcade by suspected militants but the officials did not confirm it. According to this report, the splinters also hit two moving official vehicles, injuring two engineers and a driver.
The injured have been rushed to various hospitals in Tral and Srinagar. Reports said that the condition of, at least, four of them is ‘critical’.
The security forces’ reinforcements have laid siege to a vast area of Tral town, 45-km south of Srinagar, to begin searches.
Locals have held protests outside Tral’s sub-district hospital alleging that the security forces fired live ammunition in reprisal to grenade attack injuring civilians. The authorities have denied the charge but promised an investigation into the incident.
Initial reports had termed the incident as “mysterious” while as the police had said that it could be a case of “fratricide”.