An explosion in a market in Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir killed four policemen on patrol duty. The blast was triggered by an improvised explosive device (IED), making it the first IED attack in Kashmir since 2015.
The four personnel belonged to Indian Reserve Police-3rd battalion. They were on law and order duty in the township in north Kashmir when the IED planted by militants went off.
The market was shut because the separatists had called a strike.
Militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) is said to have claimed responsibility for the attack.
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, K
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.
Giving details of the incident, ADGP Munir Khan said,”Our normal law and order deployment reached the lane between ‘Chotta Bazaar’ and ‘Bada Bazaar’. There was an IED blast in which four of our boys were martyred…The IED was placed beneath the entrance of a shop. It was a big IED, there has been a huge crater because of it. Six or seven shops have suffered damage as well.”
A wreath laying ceremony was held at District Police Lines Sopore to pay homage to the slain personnel.
(With inputs from PTI)