Srinagar: At least six policemen, including an SHO, were killed in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on Friday. The terrorists ambushed a police party near Achabal town.
The terrorists disfigured the faces of policemen, snatched their weapons and ran away. Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Taiba is believed to be behind the ambush, a senior police official was quoted as saying by PTI.
Police said that besides the fatalities, some other policemen sustained serious bullet injuries, and were rushed to nearby hospital. Army has been moved out and was combing the area, they added.
The attack came hours after security forces killed two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants in Arwani village of south Kashmir.
The incident took place in the evening when Feroz Ahmed, a 2010 batch Sub-Inspector, was on his way to the police station at Achabal after completing his duty in Anantnag.
The militants had laid an ambush on Anantnag-Achabal road near Kulgad village and fired at the police party. The police were not travelling in a bullet proof vehicle.
All the six policemen including Ahmed died on the spot, senior police officials said.
The other deceased officers include constables Sharik Ahmad and Tanveer Ahmad (Budgam district), Sheraz Ahmad (Achabal), Asif Ahmad and Sabzar Ahmed (Anantnag).
Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba has claimed responsibility for the attack, police said, adding it seems they wanted to take revenge of the Arwani encounter in which their local commander Junaid Mattoo is believed to have died.
The encounter at Arwani in Bijbehara area broke out this morning and all the three militants are believed to be dead. No bodies have been recovered so far.
According to police, the locals congregated at the encounter site in a bid to help the militants flee the spot. Two civilians, including a teenager, died in the ensuing clash. Police added that people threw stones and tried to break the security cordon.
This is the second major attack on a police party. Earlier on May 28, militants attacked a police party at Phambai area of Kulgam in South Kashmir, killing five policemen and two bank guards.
The incident saw immediate reaction from political parties including former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah who blamed the PDP-BJP government led by Mehbooba Mufti for the present crisis.
"It seems that South Kashmir is slipping everyday from the hands of the state government. I hope somebody in New Delhi wakes up now," Omar said.
CPM leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami said the incidents in South Kashmir were a clear example of lawlessness prevailing in the entire area.
State Congress chief G A Mir said it was a very sad incident. "It shows that the state government has completely failed in controlling the situation. I wonder when will the Union Home Ministry wake up," Mir said.
(With inputs from PTI)