3 Attacks in North Kashmir Spark Fresh Panic

Mobile towers attacked again 

SRINAGAR:  In three different attacks, suspected militants lobbed four hand grenades and triggered a mine blast within span of 24 hours in Pattan town of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Suspected militants, according police sources, hurled two grenades on an Airtel mobile tower located in the premises of one Ghulam Muhammad Wani at Sherpora Pattan Tuesday evening. “It was a low intensity blast that didn’t cause any damage,” according to the DIG police North Kashmir Range Gareeb Das.

Residents said both the grenades went off and caused damage to the windowpanes. Some hours after this attack, suspected militants emerged at Nehalpora Pattan and again hurled two hand grenades to blow up Bharti Airtel mobile tower located in the premises of one Ghulam Hassan Bhat. Sources said grenades did not explode but created panic in the area. “A young boy carrying a pistol appeared in our premises and lobbed two grenades towards the tower. We ran for cover and fortunately they didn’t explode. We immediately informed police,” the son of Bhat said.

Reports said that a police party, from the nearby police post, rushed towards the spot of incident, however, as their vehicle reached near grid station, suspected militants triggered a mine blast to inflict maximum damage on police. “It was a trap and fortunately, the mine did not explode as per its strength. If there would have been blast, it would have killed several cops. The militants failed to trigger it successfully,” DIG Gareeb Das said.

Meanwhile, the attacks on mobile towers have forced many landlords to flee from their houses. “I am not going to take any risk this time. Anything can happen so I have decided to migrate to other part of the district for time-being,” said a landlord.  

Pertinently, in May and early June this year, Lashker-e-Islam – newly emerged outfit – launched a spate of attacks against telecom employees and those who have rented out space for installation of mobile towers. The attacks left two persons dead and led to the brief suspension of the services in parts of Baramulla and nearby Bandipore districts especially Sopore and adjoining areas. —With inputs from the CNS

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