Srinagar: An ‘unarmed policeman’, who ‘left his post to offer Friday congregation prayers’, was killed when Islamic State militants made an abortive bid to snatch weapons in Jammu and Kashmir’s central Budgam district.

A police official said that policeman Shamim Ahmad was shot at when unidentified militants made an attempt to snatch weapons from a guard-post in Wadwan village, inhabited by a minority community. Shamim, a senior constable with Jammu and Kashmir Police, was “unarmed and was going to offer Friday prayers at a local mosque in the vicinity when the militants attacked him,” the police official said.

Shamim was critically injured in the attack and succumbed at a local hospital, he said. “He was asked by militants to lead toward the guard-post, but he raised an alarm and the other policemen successfully foiled the attempt to snatch weapons,” he said.

A cordon and search operation, launched by the forces, failed to nab the attackers. Few hours after the attack, Islamic State claimed responsibility through its official news agency, Amaq which posted the claim in Arabic and it was shared by Telegram accounts linked to the Islamic State.

The claim roughly reads: “(Islamic State claims) Killing of an element of Indian Police by the soldiers of Khilafah in the area of Wadwan in district Budgam Kashmir.” This is for the third time that Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a militant attack in Kashmir. Police so far have not commented over the claim made by the Islamic State.

Clashes broke out in Soibugh after youth hurled rocks at army vehicles heading towards Wadwan village following the attack. An eyewitness said that army men opened fire to chase away the protesters. Adil Farooq Mir, believed to be in twenties, from Galwanpur suffered a bullet wound in his right thigh. Mir was immediately shifted to nearby hospital where from he was referred to Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment.