HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Cop killed, 3 others injured in Kashmir gunfight

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, January 07, 2014
First Published: 11:54 IST(7/1/2014) | Last Updated: 19:03 IST(7/1/2014)

Assistant sub-inspector of police Kafeel Ahmad was killed and three policemen injured in a gunfight with militants in North Kashmir town of Sopore, about 50 km from Jammu and Kashmir capital Srinagar.

A police spokesman said the security forces cordoned off Chankhan area in Sopore, also called the Apple Town, after receiving intelligence that militants were hiding in a house.

The militants, two to three in number, fired at the security forces, injuring four policemen, triggering a gunfight. Ahmad succumbed to injuries at hospital, the police said.

The police said the militants managed to break the cordon and escape from the spot. This is the second time in three months that militants have managed to break free from police cordon during a face-off.

In October 2013, suspected Pakistani militant Abu Hurera had managed to escape a police cordon in the heart of Srinagar.

A police officer, wishing anonymity, said, "Kafeel was a very brave soldier who was always at the forefront when it came to fighting militants. He was posted in Sopore since 2007 and was injured thrice in the line of duty before as well. It a loss."

The separatist sentiment is strong in Sopore town, which is a traditional stronghold of Jamat-e-Islami and bastion of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. On Monday, it remembered the massacre of 57 civilians in 1993 at the hands of Border Security Force personnel.

About 300 houses and shops were reportedly set afire by the troopers who claimed they fired in retaliation to militants’ fire, on January 6, 1993.

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