Twin grenade attacks rock Kashmir, one targets security forces camp
Suspected militants lobbed a grenade on Friday in the Lal Chowk area, the heart of Srinagar, and also targeted a security forces camp in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, but caused no serious casualties or damage to property, the police said.
The twin attacks came a day after three policemen were injured in a grenade blast in the city, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, and ahead of Republic Day on January 26 and caused security forces to go on a high security alert.
“These are terror crimes and we are investigating,” said inspector general of police Swayam Prakash Pani.
Mohammad Hassan , a spokesman for Jaish-e-Mohammad, said in a statement to a local news agency the group was responsible for the attacks. Police said a grenade was hurled towards a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) vehicle stationed near the clock tower in Lal Chowk, in the afternoon on Friday. Locals said the resultant blast caused a tyre of the vehicle to burst and caused some damage to a car parked alongside. Glass panes of nearby shops were damaged.
“I was just some distance away from the spot when I heard a bang and people started running helter-skelter. Owing to the Friday prayers, not many people were present in the area. Otherwise there would have been many injuries,” said an eyewitness who didn’t want to be named.
In Shopian, suspected militants lobbed a grenade towards a camp housing personnel from the Reserve Police and CRPF.
“...officers did not receive any report pertaining to the loss of life or property,” the police said in a statement, appealing to the people to contact the police if they had any information that could help investigators.
On Thursday, three policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector of police, were injured in a grenade blast in Srinagar’s Rajbagh area..
Security forces were on a high state of alert across the city. “The militants have to show something. It doesn’t mean our security has been jeopardized. We are after them. I am sure, we will find them very soon,” said a senior police officer who did not want to be named.
The attacks on Friday came as police claimed to have arrested a man carrying a grenade in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
A police statement said Mohd Aslam Beigh, a resident of Lolab, was intercepted at a check point and a search found him carrying the grenade and some “incriminating” material. The police said Beigh had been planning to join a terrorist group, and carry out an attack in Kupwara along with other terrorists.
“Initial investigation revealed that he was motivated to turn to terrorism through social media by entities based in Pakistan,” the statement said.
So far in January, six militants have been killed in gun battles across the Kashmir valley; The militants targeted a policeman and a civilian, the brother of a Sarpanch, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.