Srinagar: Four policemen were killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town on Saturday when an improvised explosive device or IED went off in a market. The attack was aimed at a patrol unit of the police.
The terrorists had planted the remote-controlled IED near a shop in a lane between 'Chotta Bazaar' and 'Bada Bazaar'. It was detonated when the policemen reached the scene while doing their rounds this morning, news agency Press Trust of India reported, quoting officials. Three shops were also destroyed in the massive explosion.
Terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the strike and threatened more such attacks.
"They were on a routine law and order duty in the wake of strike call in Sopore. Three of four fallen policemen belong to the same area of Baramula and Kupwara," SA Mujtaba, a senior police officer, told NDTV.
Shops in the market were closed and the area was largely deserted due to a strike called by separatists over the 1993 massacre, in which 57 people were killed in firing by security forces.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed her condolences for the families of those killed.
Pained to hear that four policeman have been killed in an IED explosion in Sopore. My deepest condolences to their families.- Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) January 6, 2018
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."
On Monday, three terrorists of Jaish-e Mohammad had launched a post-midnight attack at a CRPF training centre in Pulwama. Five security personnel had been killed before the terrorists could be killed in the encounter.
Among the three terrorists was a 16-year-old, the son of a policeman from Kashmir. He was found carrying 24 grenades and a video message that asked young men in Kashmir to join the terror group.
The attack, the police said, was meant to avenge the death of Noor Mohammad Tantray or Chhota Noora, a top terrorist of the group.