Four policemen killed in IED blast in J&K

Four policemen killed in IED blast in J&K

Four policemen on patrol duty were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants went off in in north Kashmir's Sopore town on Saturday.

Reports said that at around 10:05 am, the IED planted by militants beneath a shop went off near Haaritar area of Sopore, resulting in injuries to four policemen. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital where all of them succumbed to injuries.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Munir Khan confirmed that four policemen were killed in the blast. He said that three shops were also damaged in the blast.

Pakistan based terror outfit JeM claimed the responsibility for the attack. A local news gathering agency GNS quoting JeM spokesperson claimed that they have attacked the police party in Sopore. "The Shaheed Afzal Guru squad carried out the attack," he said.

Three among the slain policemen were identified as ASI Irshad Ahmad from Doda, Muhammad Amin from Kupwara and Ghulam Nabi from Sopore. Soon after the attack army and paramilitary forces launched searches to nab the attackers.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti while expressing her grief over the killings tweeted: "Pained to hear that four policemen have been killed in an IED explosion in Sopore. My deepest condolences to their families."

Mehbooba's predecessor and opposition NC leader Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter: "Very sad news from #Sopore. May the four brave J&K police personnel killed in the line of duty today rest in piece."

The separatists had called for a shutdown in Sopore town on Saturday to mark the 25th anniversary of Sopore massacre in which 55 people were killed in alleged firing by Border Security Force (BSF) on this day in 1993. The authorities had deployed additional police and paramilitary CRPF men in the town to thwart any protests.

A senior police official said militants intentionally choose this day to target the police in Sopore. "They want to show their strength by carrying out such attacks. The separatists had already called for a shutdown in the town," he said.

This was the first major militant attack in the Valley in 2018 in which security forces suffered casualties. On December 31, three fidayeen (suicide) militants of Jaish had attacked the 185th battalion camp of the Central Reserve Police Force in Awantipora area of Pulwama killing five paramilitary troopers. The three militants were also killed in the retaliatory action by the security forces.
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