Two soldiers were killed and about 20 people injured in a series of blasts causing a huge fire at an Army ammunition depot in the Shangus area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district on Saturday.
Army authorities said the depot caught fire accidentally. The Hizbul Mujahideen and Jamaitul Mujahideen terrorist outfits, however, separately claimed responsibility. They claimed the blasts were caused by rockets fired by their activists at the ordnance depot, one of the Army's biggest in Kashmir.
The place looked like a war field with sounds of blasts, plumes of thick smoke and residents running helter-skelter for their lives as policemen, paramillitary personnel and administration officials looked on haplessly.
"This is our main ammunition depot, housing firearms and artillery. The depot caught fire at 8.30 am today. Initially, three blasts took place after which the depot caught fire. Later, the blasts began to recur," Brig SK Rana of Sector-2 said, adding, "The situation is explosive."
BS Bali, a civil engineer, told
, "Today, there was ordnance general inspection day. All the civilian and military men had to report at 8.30 am. I fear many have died." Till 10.40 pm the fire was being brought under control but the blasts were continuing.