Jammu and Kashmir: Four policemen killed in IED blast at Sopore

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Four policemen on patrol duty were killed in Sopore town of north Kashmir today when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by terrorists went off, an official said.

The Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility.

The IED blast took place in the market area of Sopore. On December 31, three fidayeen (suicide) militants of Jaish had attacked the 185th battalion camp of the Central Reserve Police Force in Awantipora area of Pulwama killing five paramilitary troopers. She wrote on Twitter: "Pained to hear that four policeman have been killed in an IED explosion in Sopore". This is first IED blast since 2015 and indicates to the renewed strategy of terrorists after the revival of JeM outfit. But it was not immediately known which group carried out the attack. "May the four courageous J&K police personnel killed in the line of duty today rest in peace", Abdullah tweeted. The report quoted a source as saying that the IED was planted beneath a shop.

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The Minister also expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in a snow avalanche near Sadna top in Kupwara district.

The powerful blast also damaged three shops in the Gole Market, which was closed for the day in response to a shutdown called by the Joint Resistance Leadership to mark the 19th anniversary of the Sopore massacre when Border Security Force personnel killed over 50 people and burnt down dozens of shops. Valley police chief Munir Ahmad Khan said his officers needed to "put our heads together and chalk out new strategies to tackle" the return of the bomb.