Militants target telecom firms in Srinagar, hurl grenades; 1 hurt
One person was injured when militants threw a grenade at a mobile tower belonging to the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited in Srinagar’s Shaheed Gunj area on Friday afternoon, hours after two similar attacks on cellular companies’ showrooms in the heart of the city.
Earlier in the day, suspected militants lobbed grenades inside the showrooms of two private mobile telecommunication companies in the heart of Srinagar. No one was injured.
Eyewitnesses told Hindustan Times that armed men entered the showrooms of Vodafone and Aircel in Srinagar's commercial hub of Kara Nagar. In both incidents, the employees were asked to vacate the showrooms.
"The militants then hurled a grenade inside the premises and fled the place," a police official said.
The Aircel office is located less than 300 metres from Zonal Police Headquarters was attacked at around 11.30am. The Vodafone showroom is around 500 metres away from the scene of first attack.
There were no injuries in the two incidents that shook the area, prompting the police to issue an alert for the assailants. The officer said all check points in the city have been alerted after the incident.
Police said no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far.
Militants had targeted mobile telecommunication facilities in north Kashmir's Sopore town in May by carrying out grenade attacks. The attacks later spread to nearby Pattan town before militants carried out similar strikes on mobile installations.
In May and June, six people were killed and several cellphone towers were attacked in north Kashmir.
Friday's attacks came just a day after the Hizbul Mujahideen distanced itself from its commander Qayoom Najar and suspended his membership. The outfit has accused Najar of carrying out attacks on mobile networks and targeting people.
Shattered glasses outside a shop targeted by militants. (Wassem Andrabi/ HT Photo)
May 23, 2015: Grenade blasts were heard near a mobile tower in a residential area of Sopore.
May 25: A Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited franchise shop was attacked at New Colony in Sopore, killing an employee and injuring two others.
May 26: A 62-year-old man, whose property housed a mobile tower, was killed in Sopore’s Dooru area.
May 27: Gunmen shot at and injured a civilian whose premises had housed a mobile tower in Pattan.
June 1: Militants hurled a grenade on a tower in Srinagar.
(With agency inputs)