Index

SLUG: 2-270795 India/Kashmir Bomb (L) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=12/25/00

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-270795

TITLE=INDIA/KASHMIR BOMB (L ONLY)

BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA

DATELINE=NEW DELHI

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: Indian police say at least five people have been killed and more than twenty injured in a powerful bomb blast in the Kashmiri capital, Srinagar. Anjana Pasricha reports, the attack comes two days after suspected Muslim militants gunned down three people in the historic Red Fort in New Delhi.

TEXT: Security officials say a powerful car bomb exploded Monday afternoon near the main gate of the army headquarters in the Kashmiri capital, Srinagar. Several shops close to the site were destroyed by fire.

Several soldiers were among those injured.

Officials say they suspect the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. Police say a Muslim militant group called the Jamait-ul-Mujahideen has claimed responsibility.

The car bomb blast is the second attack on a high-profile target after New Delhi announced last week that it would extend a unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir. On Friday, a soldier and two civilians were killed at the historic Red Fort in New Delhi. A Pakistan-based group claimed responsibility for that attack.

Muslim militant groups have rejected the ceasefire, and vowed to continue their armed struggle for Kashmir's independence from India.

However, the Indian government says it will not allow the peace process to be sabotaged, and will press ahead with its peace initiative in Kashmir, despite the attacks. (signed)

NEB/AP/TDW