In first such major attack in Srinagar in more than two years, militants killed three policemen, including an officer while critically injuring several others. Militants carried out two successive strikes in two parts of the city, firing indiscriminately at two police parties. They also decamped with an assault rifle of one of the slain cops.
The first attack was carried out at Zadibal area of the downtown Srinagar where the militants killed two cops. The deceased have been identified as assistant sub-inspector Ghulam Mohammad and head constable Nazir Ahmad.
This was followed by killing of the constable Mohammad Sadiq at Tengpora, in another part of the city.
Police and paramilitary personnel later cordoned off the areas to search for the attackers.
The twin attacks in the capital city have stunned the security establishment which have long declared Srinagar free of militants. Over the past five years, no youth from Srinagar has joined militancy, even though the city has remained the hub of the anti-India and pro-separatist protests. It is only the youth from the parts of South and North Kashmir which have taken up arms.
But today’s attacks in Srinagar are likely to change this perception. Though security agencies have yet to identify the attackers, they are suspected to have sneaked into the city from the South Kashmir.
Meanwhile, militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen has claimed the responsibility for the twin attacks.
The operational spokesperson of the outfit, Burhan-ud-din told a local news agency that at least three policemen were killed in the twin attacks carried out by a special squad of the outfit. He added that Operation Field Commander of the outfit has directed the squad to intensify the attacks on Special Operation Group, a wing of J&K Police engaged in counter-insurgency operations. “The attacks on the security establishments will continue,” he warned.
Last major attack in Srinagar had taken place near the upscale area of Hyderpora on June 24, 2013. Eleven army personnel were killed and eleven others were injured when militants ambushed an Army convoy. But it later turned out that the attack had been carried out by the Lashker commander Abu Qasim, who was killed in October last year. Qasim, a native of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, was also mastermind of Udhampur attack in August last in which two BSF personnel were killed.