Four Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed when unidentified militants struck near Sopore town in north Kashmir on Wednesday. One CRPF jawan was injured.

Reports reaching here said that the militants targeted a patrol party of the CRPF which was keeping a vigil in an orchard near Janwara village on the Sopore-Bandipore road.

“They were taken off guard by the militants who opened indiscriminate firing on them,” Additional Superintendent of Police (Sopore) Abdul Waheed Shah told The Hindu. Three CRPF personnel died on the spot, he said adding that one more succumbed to injuries in the hospital later.

“It was a heavy firing on them when they were having lunch. Even they [troops] couldn’t get time to retaliate,” he said. The dead CRPF men belonged to the 177th battalion which is deployed in the area.

Case registered

Station House Officer, Sopore, Abdul Aziz Qadri said that a case has been registered and investigations started. The area has been cordoned off for search operation to nab the militants.

The CRPF men who died in the attack were identified as A.K. Opadia, A.P. Prabhakaran, Kuldeep Singh and S.S. Dhas.

Only on Tuesday, the militants had attacked the residence of Sopore MLA Mohammad Ashraf Ganai who claimed that two grenades were thrown at his residence.