SRINAGAR, Aug 29: Unknown gunmen on Tuesday attacked the residence of senior National Conference leader and former minister Abdul Rahim Rather in central Kashmir district of Budgam.
Rather was not present at the house at the time of the attack and no one was injured in the firing, officials said. Witnesses said the senior NC politician’s security guards responded to the morning attack in Badipora village, forcing the gunmen flee from the scene. “Guards posted there repulsed the attack,” a police officer confirmed.
In a pre-dawn strike Tuesday militants tried to blow up an armoured vehicle of the army by detonating an inmprovised explosive device in Navpora Payeen village, third such attack this year. A police official said around 3:20 am militants set off an IED in Navpora Payeen village of Pulwama when an armoured vehicle (Casper) of army’s 44 RR was passing through the area.
“Soon after the blast, militants also fired upon the vehicle,” the official said, adding no loss of life or injuries were reported. He said the IED was planted on the road. Reinforcement was rushed to the scene immediately after the attack and a hunt for the suspects was started in the area.
Another senior police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, however said, militants attacked the vehicle with a patrol bomb and army personnel retaliated by firing indiscriminately. Defence spokesperson, Colonel Rajesh Kalia did not respond to phone calls of this reporter.
This is the third attack in Kashmir valley since the beginning of this year when militants have deployed IEDs, a weapon of choice during the peak of insurgency in 1990s. On January 6, militants detonated an IED in north Kashmir’s Sopore town, killing four policemen including a police ASI on the spot. In a similar attack on May 27, three army soldiers were injured in Turkwangama area of Shopian district.