“Four policemen were killed when militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Baramulla’s Sopore on Saturday morning, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Sopore gunfight that left over 50 dead.
“It was the first IED blast since 2015… It was very powerful, resulting in loss of lives and property,” said Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir, Muneer Khan.
He described the situation as serious, but said it would be tackled effectively.
The militants had attached the IED to a shop at Sopore’s Gol Market and detonated it as the policemen, deployed for maintaining law and order, arrived. The explosion damaged several shops and shook residential houses. The militants had picked a spot where policemen “usually rest after a law and order situation.”
The deceased belonged to the IRP’s 3rd Battalion.
“It seems the IED was detonated using a remote device,” said a police official. Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.
The event coincided with the anniversary of a gunfight between security forces and the BSF in 1993, in which 57 people were killed.
Mehbooba, Omar express anguish
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she was pained to hear about the death of four policeman in the IED explosion. “My deepest condolences to their families,” she said.
“May the four brave J&K police personnel killed in the line of duty today rest in peace..,” said former Chief Minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah.”