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Last Updated: Friday, 24 June, 2005, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Nine troops die in Kashmir blast
Srinagar blast scene
A bus carrying Indian soldiers bore the brunt of the explosion
Nine Indian troops have been killed and 15 wounded in a bomb blast outside a tourist site in Srinagar, capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, police say.

The car bomb, reportedly detonated remotely, exploded as an army convoy drove past the city's Nishat Gardens.

Many of the injured are said to be in a serious condition.

India and Pakistan have begun peace moves aimed at ending decades of dispute over divided Kashmir - a region both countries claim in its entirety.

India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring a violent uprising in Kashmir, a charge Islamabad denies.

Tourist trade

The Hizbul Mujahideen militant group says it carried out the explosion, the BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar reports.


The blast badly damaged a bus carrying Indian soldiers, while the car carrying the bomb was completely destroyed, he says.

Two civilians were also hurt in the blast.

A photographer for the AFP news agency says the blast site was littered with body parts.

Tourists visiting Nishat Gardens were seen running to their vehicles.


Indian-administered Kashmir is famed for its beauty and supported a booming tourist trade before the violent uprising began.

The recent easing of tension between India and Pakistan has brought a rise in tourist numbers though these have yet to return to their pre-insurgency levels.

Separately, India has refused permission for Pakistan's Information Minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, to visit Srinagar on a bus service linking the two portions of the divided territory.

A Kashmiri separatist leader, Yasin Malik, told the BBC earlier this month that Mr Ahmed had given support and shelter to militants fighting Indian rule during the 1980s.

However, Mr Malik denied comments attributed to him in a Pakistani newspaper in which he allegedly said Mr Ahmed had helped train militants.

India expressed its concern over the remarks.

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