One dead as militants fire near Dal Lake

Unidentified militants on Wednesday night targeted a liquor shop inside a government-run hotel Heemal located on the banks of the Dal Lake killing one salesman and injuring four others in the shop. The attack comes a month after militants struck at a hotel in Srinagar.

Police sources said the attackers fired at the salesmen from point blank range from their pistols.

According to a police spokesman, an employee, Mushtaq Ahmad of Aloochi Bagh, was killed in the firing. The four persons injured in the incident are Fayaz Ahmad Khanday of Aloochi Bagh, Mohammad Sharief Sheikh of Batamaloo (both in Srinagar) and Ravi Kumar and Sunny Mehra, both from Jammu region. The injured have been rushed to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital for treatment.

The attack has come a month after the militants struck a hotel in the outskirts of Srinagar city and opened fire, killing two hotel employees. Police sources said that the Hotel Silve Star attack was carried out by the militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba.

In the past, militants have several times attacked liquor shops in the Valley and have asked them to stop the trade. In fact, the separatist outfits and some religious organisations have also been criticising the government for giving licenses to people to open liquor shops in the Valley.

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