SRINAGAR: Suspected militants Friday evening shot dead a woman in south Kashmir's Pulwama district in the fourth incident of its kind this month in the restive Kashmir Valley.

Police and family sources said unidentified gunmen, believed to be two in number, stormed the Nayna village residence of the victim, Zaiba Bano, 55, and fired multiple shots at her.

According to police sources, the gunmen were probably provided cover by more suspects who kept a watch outside the residence and later they together managed to escape from the village under the cover of darkness.

The victim, who allegedly has a questionable past, was shifted to Sub-district hospital in the nearby Bijbehara town where she was declared dead on arrival.

The incident comes exactly a week after a bullet-riddled body of a 22-year-old male, Shameem Ahmad Patloo, was recovered from Arwani village of Kulgam district in south Kashmir.

The victim was abducted by suspected militants, according to his family.

On October 12, a worker of the Jammu and Kashmir's ruling Peoples Conference (PC) was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in north Kashmir's Kupwara district.

Gulam Nabi Khoja, a longtime associate of the PC founder, Abdul Gani Lone who was assassinated by suspected militants in 2002, was shot outside his residence at Kralgund in Handwara.

He was shifted to hospital in a serious condition where he succumbed.

The party is presently headed by Sajad Lone who is social welfare minister in the PDP-BJP government headed by Mehbooba Mufti. Lone was elected to the state legislature from Handwara constituency.

Earlier, suspected militants shot dead a former village headman affiliated with the opposition National Conference in Pulwama district on October 2. Police said Fayaz Ahmad Bhat was shot in his home at Kandizal village of Pulwama district.

Bhat, a former Sarpanch affiliated with the National Conference, was elected in the last election and his tenure had ended recently.

Meanwhile, there has been no let up in incidents of schools being targeted by arsonists in Kashmir with unidentified persons Friday evening setting a school building in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on fire.

Reports said unknown persons set the private school building in Batgund area of Verinag on fire late on Friday evening. "The school was partially damaged due to fire. We have registered a case and investigations have been started to nab the culprits," a police officer said.

(Cover Photograph BASIT ZARGAR)