Militants killed a woman Special Police Officer (SPO) on Saturday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, police said. The terrorists shot dead Khushboo Jan from close range while she was in her home village, Vehil.

“She suffered critical bullet injuries around 2.40 p.m. and was rushed to a hospital where she succumbed,” the police added. She breathed her last on the way to the nearby hospital.

“She sustained critical injuries and was evacuated to hospital where she succumbed. We condemn this gruesome terror act & stand by her family at this critical juncture,” said the Jammu and Kashmir police.

A cordon and search operation was underway to trace the assailants.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah condemned the shooting.

SPOs are engaged by the state police on fixed monthly remuneration to fight terrorism in the state. They are neither given training to handle firearms nor are weapons issued to them.

The SPOs represent the lowest rung of police officials below the state constabulary that is adequately trained to handle weapons and are also issued service weapons.

(Inputs from media reports)