Nine army men killed, 11 injured in Kashmir blast

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Srinagar, Jul 19 (UNI) At least nine soldiers were killed and 11 others wounded when militants triggered a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED), targeting an Army convoy on the Srinagar- Baramulla road this afternoon.

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) has claimed responsibility for the blast.

However, unconfirmed reports said ten soldiers were killed.

There were conflicting reports about the casualities, as nobody was available from the Defence Ministry and the Police to give details about the incident.

Official sources said militants had planted an IED on the roadside, just ahead of Narbal crossing where road-widening work was in progress.

They said as the convoy of 79 Brigade passed the area, militants triggered the IED, reportedly through a remote control device (RCD).

The bus was blown up in the blast and the sound was audible in the area upto radius of five kms .

Eyewitnesses said bodies and wounded soldiers were seen on the road after the incident.

Sources said eight soldiers died on the spot and 12 others were injured. Later one more injured succumbed to his injuries before he could be shifted to hospital.

A UNI correspondent who visited the spot, saw the bus totally damaged in the blast, a first this year. This was also a first major strike by the militants after the imposition of the Governors' rule in the state.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police personnel were the first to reach the spot and help in shifting the injured to the hospital.

Traffic on the Srinagar-Baramulla road was suspended for about an hour.

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