Four policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector, were killed and two others injured in a powerful bomb blast that ripped through a market place in north Kashmir’s Sopore town on Saturday, police said.
The improvised explosive device (IED) blast damaged three shops in the Gole Market, a police officer said. Once a hotbed of militancy and separatist politics, Sopore town lies 50 km north of Srinagar.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Munir Khan said four policemen were killed in the explosion.
The IED was planted by militants near a shop, the police said. But it was not immediately known which group carried out the attack.
“Searches are on and the area was cordoned off. The two injured were shifted to hospital,” a police officer said.
The otherwise busy market was closed for the day in response to a shutdown called by the separatists to mark the 19th anniversary of the killings of some 55 people following a militant attack on security forces in 1993.
Authorities had deployed a large number of security forces in the market and other areas of Sopore to maintain law and order situation in the wake of the protest shutdown.