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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 11:48 GMT
Suicide bomber hits Kashmir city
Suicide car bomb scene at Srinagar
The attack came shortly before a new chief minister was sworn in
A suicide car bomb targeting the new leader of Indian-administered Kashmir has killed four people and the bomber, police say.

At least 14 people were injured in the attack, hours ahead of the swearing-in of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Police said the bomber was heading for Mr Azad's home but set off the bomb early when stopped by police.

A Pakistan-based Islamic militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, has said it carried out the attack.

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India has indicated that deadly bombs in its capital, Delhi, on Saturday may be linked to Pakistan-based militants.

Jaish-e-Mohammad has been blamed for a number of attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Critical condition

Police say the bomber detonated the device 2km from the home of the new chief minister when stopped at a checkpoint.

Everybody panicked and ran for cover
Local resident Ghulam Ahmed

The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, says one policeman and three civilians were killed.

Police say the death toll may rise as some of the injured are in a critical condition.

They said the bomber was a resident of Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

"It was a deafening blast. Everybody panicked and ran for cover," Ghulam Ahmed, a local resident, is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

Later on Wednesday Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress Party was sworn-in as the new chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, the first state leader from the Jammu region.

Mr Azad has spent most of his political life in Delhi and is taking up the post as part of a power-sharing arrangement.

Following the last election, Congress and the regional People's Democratic Party (PDP) agreed to form a government on the condition that each party would lead the coalition for three years.

There are a number of militant groups who have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989 in an insurgency that has claimed more than 60,000 lives.

India believes the militants infiltrate from Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

However, bilateral ties have improved in the past two years.

Last week, India and Pakistan signed a landmark deal to open the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing the disputed region, in order to help victims of the 8 October earthquake.


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