Two policemen and as many militants were killed after the house of a National Conference (NC) leader was attacked on Sunday in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, which goes to polls on April 24.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah condemned the attack and extended condolences to the families of
the slain securitymen.
Militant outfit Al-Shohada claimed responsibility for the attack. According to the police, there are around 130 militants who want to derail the poll process active in the Valley.
Two armed militants arrived at the residence of Yawar Masoodi, a leader of the ruling NC's youth wing and the son of justice Hasnain Masoodi, at Pulwama's Khrew area, around 20 km south of Srinagar, around 2:30 pm. The place is under the Anantnag parliamentary constituency.
According to eyewitnesses, the militants opened fired on the guards manning the gate and killed two policemen (head constable Abdul Hamid and constable Vinod Kumar). The militants looted their weapons before fleeing the scene.
"The army's quick action team from 50 Rashtriya Rifles along with the CRPF and police's special operation group chased the militants and killed them. The weapons were also recovered," said army spokesperson Col NN Joshi.
Masoodi, a law graduate, had joined the NC in December last year. He was inside the house and discussing an upcoming road show with party workers.
The incident came days after opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mufti Muhammad Sayeed's cavalcade was attacked by stone-throwers raising anti-India slogans in south Kashmir's Shopian district.
Political parties in the state have already been asked to hold programmes at designated venues and inform security agencies six days before organising any public rally owing to the militant threat.
After Sunday's attack, chief minister Abdullah wrote on Twitter, "The attack on Yawar's residence is evidence of the continued risk associated with being a mainstream politician in Kashmir."
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