Sopore Blast Breaks Kashmir Peace Lull24 June 2011
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: The long peaceful lull in Kashmir was disrupted on Friday when unidentified militants lobbed a hand grenade at a police station in Sopore area. The explosion injured six persons, including a woman. “There are several alleys and lanes near the Sopore police station. Around 12:30 pm, a grenade fell near the police station and exploded with a bang,” an eyewitness told the Hindustan Times on the phone. Sopore is 55 km north of Srinagar. Panic gripped the area after the loud explosion and shopkeepers near the police station ran for the cover and closed down their shops. Pedestrians were seen hiding. The attack has come when Kashmir is observing a booming tourist season. The attack will have no bearing on tourist rush as it’s away from major tourists places. This year, Kashmir has not seen any major militant attack so far as security agecies were able to keep them at bay. The grenade hurled by the militants on Friday, however, landed inside the police complex. “There were civilians inside the station premises,” said a police officer on the condition of anonymity. The civilians were waiting to meet a detainee there. “The explosion injured six people, including a policeman,” said the police officer. The injured police constable belongs to the telecommunication wing. Hospital officials confirmed to the HT that two civilians have received grave injuries in the blast. The injured have been identified as Bashir Ahmad, Javed Ahmad, Mohammad Syed, Zahid, Ghulam Mohiudin and Ayseha Begam. Friday’s attack is third such attack in Sopore this year. The area is turning into a major militant hub as frequent attacks were witnessed on security forces this year. 'Militants fired a rifle grenade towards the police station, which exploded in the compound,' said a Srinagar-based police spokesman.