Shopian, Sep 17 (KTNS): Militants tried to blow up an armored ‘Casper’ vehicle of the army by detonating an improvised explosive device in southern Shopian district late on Saturday night, the police said.  

A police official said that militants triggered the IED, planted in the middle of road, in Heff village at around 11.20

The IED blast was followed by heavy firing by the militants, the official said, adding that the soldiers returned the fire but no fatalities were reported.

A group of Heff residents said that they heard a very loud explosion followed by heavy firing for at least 10 to 15 minutes, triggering panic in the area. 

Immediately after the attack, additional forces were rushed to the spot and a combing operation was launched to nab the militants, the official said.

This is the fourth such attack in Kashmir since the beginning of this year. Earlier on January 6, militants detonated an IED in Sopore town, killing four policemen including an assistant sub-inspector on the spot. In a similar attack on May 27, three soldiers sustained injuries  in Turkwangama area of Shopian district. On August 28, militants triggered an IED in Nowpora-Payen village of Pulwama.

pm after the vehicle of army’s 44 rashtriya rifles passed through the area.

LASHKAR CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY 

Meanwhile, militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba claimed responsibility for the IED blast.  “Earlier today our militants, attacked an army vehicle with an IED, which completely destroyed the vehicle, and injured the army personnel inside. The injured personnel were then attacked by gunfire and our militants, after completing the mission returned safely to their base. Field reports and local reports suggest five casualties on the Indian side,” LeT spokesperson Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi said  on Sunday.