Militants strike Sopore again, civilian killed
Eyewitnesses told Deccan Herald that two pistol-borne militants opened fire on a police party when they were clearing traffic jam near Iqbal market, Sopore, 52 km from here. In the sudden assault, a constable of Indian Reserve Police (an armed wing of the Jammu and Kashmir Police) identified as Kishore Kumar and a 65-year-old civilian Abdul Rashid Dar of Rafiabad, Baramulla were critically injured.
Police said that the civilian succumbed to injuries on way to hospital while the injured constable was rushed to Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar for treatment.
Sopore Superintendent of Police Imtiyaz Hussain told Deccan Herald that the militants snatched away the AK-47 rifle of the injured constable and vanished into the crowd. “Police couldn’t retaliate, fearing civilian casualties due to huge rush in the market due to which the militants managed to escape,” he said.
The SP revealed that the militants who carried the attack were most probably from Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit. “We have clues which suggest that the attack was carried out by over ground workers of Hizb. Beyond that I can’t say anything more at this moment,” he said.
The latest attack in Sopore comes days after Lashker-e-Toiba militants shot dead a teenager inside a masjid in Sopore. Militant activities have been on the rise in the Valley since last some months.
On March 13, LeT militants, disguised as cricketers, had attacked a CRPF camp in the heart of Srinagar city, killing five para-military personnel and injuring ten others including four civilians.
Two militants were killed in retaliatory action, while police arrested four persons including a Pakistani national in the course of investigations into the attack.
Last week militants also attacked a BSF convoy on the outskirts of Srinagar city in which one para-military personnel was killed and two others injured.