SRINAGAR, JAN 06 (PTK): Four policemen were killed in an IED blast in Sopore, north Kashmir on Saturday morning.
Several shops were also damaged in the blast. Militants had planted the IED near a shop in a lane between the ‘Chotta Bazaar’ and ‘Bada Bazaar’ in Sopore in Baramulla district, a police officer said.
Reports said that the policemen were patrolling the area in view of strike called by the separatists today in Sopore to mark the death anniversary of people killed in 1993 massacre. The separatists had called for a protest shutdown and a march in the town on Saturday.
Immediately after the attack, area was cordoned off and a search operation was carried out, however no one was arrested, reports said. The slain were identified as ASI Irshad Ahmad EXK number 825685 resident of Doda about 58 years old, Constable Ghulam Nabi Belt number 720/IRP 3rd resident of Rohama Rafiaabad, Constable Parvaiz Ahmad Belt number 915/IRP 3rd resident of Villigam Handwara, Constable Mohammad Amin Belt number 470/IRP 3rd resident of Sogam Kupwara.
Heavy deployment of forces was already in place to maintain law and order situation in the wake of protest shutdown in Sopore.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she was pained by the news. “Pained to hear that four policeman have been killed in an IED explosion in Sopore. My deepest condolences to their families,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.
“These young policemen were killed when they were on duty to protect the people in the town. It is highly unfortunate to see”, Mehboba said.
“The vortex of violence in the state needs to be broken and for that every section of society has to work shoulder to shoulder,” she said.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: “Very sad news from #Sopore. May the four brave J&K police personnel killed in the line of duty today rest in peace.”
Meanwhile Militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast “The Shaheed Afzal Guru squad carried out the attack,” the outfit said.
The attack came on the day when the apple town is observing a complete shutdown to mark the death anniversary of 1993 massacre amid security arrangements in the area. (PTK)