Pampore gunfight ends, three militants killled
The nearly 48-hour-long encounter ended today as security forces gunned down all three highly trained foreign militants who were holed up inside a multi-storey government building on the outskirts of the city.
The militants, suspected to from the Lashkar-e-Toiba, were killed by special forces of the Army after an intense gunfight on the third floor of the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) building at Sempora, 15 km from here, on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
The General Officer Commanding of Victor Force, Maj Gen Arvind Dutta, said all three slain militants were foreigners. “They were foreign terrorists and we are yet to identify them,” said Maj Gen Arvind Dutta, General Officer Commanding of Victor Force.
“A lot of arms and war-like ammunition have been recovered from them. The process of sanitising the building is under way,” he said. With the killing of three militants, the death toll in the gunfight that erupted on Saturday afternoon reached nine.
Three para commandos, including Capt Pawan Kumar and Capt Tushar Mahajan, two CRPF men and a civilian were also killed in the gunfight. Over a dozen security men were injured in the gunfight, which was the first major attack in Srinagar and its outskirts in the past six years.
Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar said the police were trying to establish the identity of the militants. “We are ascertaining their identity,” he told The Tribune.
The Army said the militants were at an advantage and were watching the movement of security forces. “The huge building had 44 rooms, not counting smaller rooms and toilets, and an area of 10,000 square feet. The terrorists had a big opportunity to hide in the building,” Maj Gen Dutta said.
Sources said the final assault was launched this morning in the machine room of the building, where the militants were cornered by para commandos.
The Army had to take every inch of the building cautiously since Sunday evening after militants took shelter in it. There was heavy exchange of fire intermittently till the gunfight ended. The building caught fire during the gunfight and the flames later subsided.
There were protests in many areas of Pampore as people tried to march towards the encounter site. There were reports of clashes in the area, in which four persons received injuries.
The police said it would take time to sanitise the entire JKEDI building and they were ensuring that the militants had not laid any booby trap.