Himalayan News Service

Srinagar, June 13:

Twelve people were killed and about 100 injured in a devastating bomb attack that created widespread panic at Pulwama town in Jammu and Kashmir today. Suspected guerrillas blew up a truck packed with explosives outside a branch of the State Bank of India in the heart of Pulwama, 32 km from here, police said. Officials said they feared the toll could rise as the condition of 16 of the injured was critical. Eyewitnesses said parts of bodies, bags, shoes and other belongings of shoppers and pedestrians were strewn at the site of the blast, which was heard kilometres away. “Houses and offices situated two kilometres from the explosion site shook because of the impact,” an eyewitness said. A senior police officer said nine civilians and three Central Reserve Police Force troopers were among the dead. Three schoolchildren were among the injured, most of them believed to be shoppers, commuters and pedestrians.

“Nearly 100 people have been injured in the explosion,” the police officer said. “Nearly two dozen shops were gutted in the fire that followed the blast,” he said. Two of the 35 injured people shifted to Srinagar’s SHMS Hospital succumbed to their injuries. Pulwama residents were frantically looking for their kin. “It’s a pathetic site. Residents are taking a headcount to see if all their family members are safe,” said another eyewitness.