Tension gripped Bemina area of Srinagar on Wednesday following a murderous assault by unidentified assailants on the family of a local cleric, which left his two minor children dead.

The assailants barged into the house of Iftikhar Ahmad at Iqbalabad in Bemina while he was away in the mosque to lead the pre-dawn prayers, police said.

The assailants slit open the throat of Mr. Ahmad’s wife, Naseema, and two children with a sharp-edged weapon, the police said.

The trio, lying in a pool of blood, were rushed to hospital when the cleric returned home from the mosque, they said.

While the children — Mohammad Hasim (two years) and Aalia (three years) were declared dead on arrival, Naseema was battling for life, police said.