5 policemen killed by cricketers in IHK attack
14 March, 2013
SRINAGAR: Rebels disguised as cricketers killed five paramilitary police in an ambush in the main city of Indian-held Kashmir on Wednesday, officials said, in the deadliest attack for nearly five years.
Two gunmen from the local group Hizbul Mujahideen, which claimed the attack, were shot dead after the assault on a playing field in the Bemina district of Srinagar that is home to a police school and barracks. A senior police officer, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said the gunmen pretended to be joining children for a game of cricket before taking out automatic weapons from a bag and throwing a grenade.
"They first mixed up with the children playing cricket," said the officer, who was not authorised to speak to the media. Four civilians were also injured, said a police statement.
The Kashmir News Network (KNS), a Srinagar-based news agency, reported receiving a call from a Hizbul Mujahideen spokesman who claimed the "guerilla attack" and said others would follow. Indian Home Secretary RK Singh told reporters that up to four men might have been involved and the dead gunmen appeared "not local but from across the border" in Pakistan.
Wednesday's deaths marked the deadliest single day for Indian security forces since July 2008 when a landmine killed nine soldiers on a bus on the outskirts of Srinagar. The Himalayan region has been tense since the execution in February of a Kashmiri activist over a deadly 2001 attack on the national parliament in Delhi.
Muhammed Afzal Guru was convicted over the attack, but he retained widespread support in Kashmir where many doubted his guilt.