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One killed, 14 injured in IED blast in Udhampur town

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Jammu: One person was killed and 14 were injured when a low-intensity IED exploded in a vegetable market outside a court complex in Udhampur district of Jammu region on Wednesday, officials said.

“Scores of people were busy shopping when all of a sudden a big bang was heard. People ran helter-skelter while several were seen lying flat on the ground. After a few minutes, locals and police removed all the injured to hospital,” an eye-witness said.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said preliminary investigation suggests it to be “an act of terrorists but we are investigating the case”.

The improvised explosive device (IED) blast took place around 1 pm in Slathia Chowk where fruit and vegetable vendors put up their carts.

DGP Singh said Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Singh visited the blast site, along with other top police officials, a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and bomb disposal experts.

“Preliminary examination suggests a low-intensity IED explosion, but a forensic and minute scrutiny will reveal more accurate facts,” the DGP said, adding that the 14 injured were now out of danger.

The DGP said that “terrorists have been planning for long to carry out an attack in Jammu region. There have been numerous attempts in the past by various terror groups to hit Jammu city which have been foiled by police.”

Deputy Commissioner of Udhampur Indu Kanwal Chib said the injured were moved to a hospital and were stable.

ADGP Singh visited the injured at the hospital and spoke to them.

Talking to reporters at the site of the incident Mukesh Singh said that preliminary investigations reveal that it was a low-intensity IED. He said the ballistic experts will find out the nature of the blast as investigations are in a full-swing

“One person was killed while 14 others sustained injuries. They all are stable,” he said.

The injured were shifted to district hospital Udhampur where one Jugal Kumar, 29, a resident of Dhandal-Udhampur succumbed to his injuries, police said.

Two of the injured are reportedly having serious injuries and being referred to Government Medical College Jammu, an official told KNO.

Soon after the explosion took place, senior officers of police, CRPF and army rushed to the spot and the area of incident was cordoned for examination of evidence.

“Sniffer dogs, bomb squad were also called on spot for necessary operation, area sanitization and examination,” the officials said. “Samples collected from the blast site have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).”

Official sources said that both National Investigation Agency (NIA) and State Investigation Agency (SIA) are assisting local police in the investigation of the case.

“Teams of both NIA and SIA visited the incident site and took a detailed review and examined evidence collection procedure,” said official sources.

The injured included a woman, an eight-month-old infant, and a Rajasthan resident.

Security was beefed up in and around the town and searches were being conducted in some places, officials said.

In a tweet, Union minister Jitendra Singh said, “I am in touch with DC InduChib on minute to minute basis. Exact cause and origin of the blast being worked out…too early to draw any definite conclusion.”

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