IED blast in Kashmir, four policemen killed
Srinagar; Four policemen on patrol duty were killed on Friday in an improvised explosive device blast by militants in a market in Sopore township, the first IED attack in Kashmir since 2015.
The four personnel belonging to Indian Reserve Police-3rd battalion were on law and order duty in the township in north Kashmir, 50 km from here, when the IED planted by militants in the market, which was shut due to a separatist-sponsored strike, went off, police said.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant outfit has taken responsibility for the attack, but the Kashmir police said it would have to verify the claim.
The slain personnel were identified as assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Irshad Ahmad - a resident of Doda, Constable Ghulam Nabi - a resident of Rohama Rafiaabad area of Baramulla, Constable Parvaiz Ahmad - a resident of Vilgam, Handwara and Constable Mohammad Amin - a resident of Sogam, Kupwara.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Munir Khan said the use of IEDs by militants had ended since 2015 and the security forces will have to chalk out a new strategy in the wake of the blast.
Denouncing the killings, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti urged the people to work shoulder to shoulder to break the "vortex of violence" in the state.
These young policemen were killed when they were on duty to protect the people in the town. It is highly unfortunate, Mufti said.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: "Unfortunate news from #Sopore. May the four brave J&K police personnel killed in the line of duty today rest in peace."
Giving details of the incident, ADGP Munir Khan told reporters that shops were closed and vehicles were off roads due to the strike in Sopore when the militants ambushed the police team.
A wreath-laying ceremony was held at District Police Lines Sopore to pay homage to the slain personnel.