SRINAGAR: A police constable and a civilian were killed Tuesday when unknown gunmen opened fire at a police post outside a prominent Sufi shrine in the restive Sopore district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The attack took place at Tujjar Sharief shrine of Sultan-ul-Arfeen Sheikh Hamza Makdhoomi (RA) in Sopore. The suspects, believed to be two in number, struck outside the shrine on Tuesday afternoon, firing indiscriminately at the police post guarding the shrine.

"Two persons including a constable identified as Fayaz Ahmed Bhat were injured in the shooting. The suspects managed to snatch the rifle of the constable and escaped from the area," a J&K police officer said.

The civilian, identified as Adbul Rahim, a physically disabled man restricted to a wheel-chair, also suffered bullet injuries in the shooting.

As gunshots rang in the air, the devotees at the shrine along with others ran for cover. The police officer said both the injured were rushed to a nearby sub district hospital where Fayaz succumbed to injuries. The condition of the civilian was serious and he also succumbed later in the day.

""They (militants) came out of nowhere and fired randomly at our post," the officer said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. The police officer said the attack is the handiwork of Hizbul Mujahideen's group led by Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the divisional commander of south Kashmir, who has became a poster boy of new insurgency in Kashmir.

J&K chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, condemned the killings. In his condolence message, Mufti said those responsible for such dastardly acts have no respect for human lives. "Spilling blood of innocent persons unravels untold miseries upon the families of the victims. There is no religion in the world which allows or justifies such inhumane acts where people are gunned down mercilessly in such cruel manner,” he said.

The chief minister expressed solidarity with the bereaved families of the policeman, Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Wadoora in Sopore and Abdul Rahim Lone, from Tujjar, and prayed for courage for their families.

Peoples Democratic Party president and Member of Parliament, Mehbooba Mufti, also condemned the killings. She said violence in any form is unacceptable and there is no place for innocent killings in a civilised society.

"No religion allows such dastardly acts of violence which lead to spilling of innocent blood and bring enormous tragedies to the families of the victims," she said in a statement.