Srinagar: Suspected militants on Friday shot dead a retired police officer outside a mosque in Batamaloo locality in Srinagar, police said.

Abdul Hamid Bhat, a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, was shot while he was coming out of a local mosque after offering Friday prayers, a police spokesman said.

He said the incident took place at around 1.45 PM and the gunmen fled the scene taking advantage of the panic which followed the shooting.

Bhat, who retired from service last year, was rushed to hospital where he was declared brought dead, the spokesman said.

He said a hunt has been launched to arrest the culprits involved in the murder.

No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the incident, which came at a time when security in the summer capital and other major towns have been beefed up ahead of Independence Day.

Security has been further tightened across Kashmir, especially Srinagar as there has been a sudden surge in grenade attacks and target killings by militants over the past couple of months.

Militants carried out a series of grenade attacks, including the one targeting Civil Secretariat in the close vicinity of Batamaloo locality besides targeting policemen, Army personnel and elected grass-root workers even as some of the top militants, including Abu Hanzulla of Lashker-e-Taiba were killed in the recent past.

(Agencies)

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