Rifle grenade attack on towers in Sopore
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, May 29: In their fifth attack in northern Kashmir, suspected guerrillas of ‘Lashkar-e-Islam’ outfit on Friday targeted three mobile phone signal towers of the telecommunication companies in Sopore.
Official sources told State Times that suspected militants fired two UBGL grenades towards three towers installed at Ganjoo House, in close vicinity of Hassan Motors, which also houses a company headquarters of Rashtriya Rifles 22nd battalion, at around 9.00 p.m. However, both the rifle grenades failed to hit the target and exploded in the air without causing any damage.
No guerrilla group had immediately claimed responsibility.
Sources said that the daredevil attack came in hours of a high level security meeting on the offensive against the telecommunication companies that was chaired by Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar and attended by senior Police, CRPF and Army officers. The meeting venue was not far away from Ganjoo House which was targeted in the evening.
After a series of threats, that came in the wake of the seizure of a communication device installed by militants atop a tower in Sopore, ‘Lashkar-e-Islam’ warned the operators and service retailers to shut their business. On May 23, the first attack, a hand grenade, occurred on the premises of a tower operator at Kralteng, Sopore. On May 25, unidentified gunmen shot dead one Rafeeq Bhat of Handwara who worked at a BSNL franchise at Shah Faisal Market in Sopore. The franchise owner and one of his employees got critically injured.
On May 26, unidentified gunmen shot dead another tower operator, Ghulam Hassan Dar, at his home in Dooru village of Sopore. Sixteen AK-47 rounds were pumped into his body. On May 27, unidentified gunmen fired upon another tower operator, Imtiyaz Ahmad Sofi alias Nadru, at Saad Mohalla of Pattan. With gunshot wounds in his leg, he was admitted to Bone & Joint Hospital of Srinagar.