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Tariq Bhat
Tariq Bhat

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Soldier killed as militants attack CRPF camp in Srinagar

PTI2_12_2018_000105B An elderly woman being rescued by the police near the site of gun battle between the security forces personnel and militants at Karan Nagar, in Srinagar | PTI

Two days after Jaish-e-Muhammad militants attacked an Army camp at Sunjwan in Jammu killing six soldiers and injuring nine others, including five women and children, Lashkar-e-Toiba militants on Monday attacked a 23 battalion of CRPF camp at Kara Nagar in Srinagar killing one CRPF man and injuring a personnel Special Police Group. 

The encounter started after two Lashkar fidayeen were spotted by the CRPF men near the camp.

When the sentries challenged the two militants, they moved into a nearby building.

The CRPF closed all escape routes and called for reinforcements. Around 9.30 am, the CRPF launched an operation to flush out the two fidayeen.

In the ensuing encounter, one constable of CRPF Mujahid Khan, a resident of Bihar, was suffered bullets hits. He later succumbed to the injuries. A personnel of police's SOG was also injured when the forces tried to close in on the two fidayeen. 

Khan was removed to the hospital where his condition is stated to be stable.

Lashkar Kashmir chief Mehmood Shah told a local news that the "freedom fighters" continue to seize control of the stronghold in Karanagar. 

The CRPF intensified the attack on the fidayeen after removing family members, including women and children of the CRPF men and some civilian from the camp. 

The police cordoned off more than two square kilometers around the site of encounter. Only the media and ambulances were permitted near the site. 

"They (militants) tried to enter the headquarters in early hours which was foiled. During the cordon and search operations, there was an exchange of fire with the militants. They are trapped," Ravideep Sahi, Inspector General of CRPF said.

Sahi said the operation will continue until the two Lashkar men are neutralised.

Director General of Police Jammu and Kashmir Shesh Paul Vaid praised the CRPF sentry for foiling the attack.

“I congratulate alert CRPF sentry for averting suicidal attack in Karan Nagar in Srinagar. Fortunately, two terrorists are in cordon and exchange of fire going on,” he tweeted.

Around 4 pm, the Army came to the help of the CRPF. The CRPF, however, declined Army's help saying it would handle the situation on its own.

Through out the day, Karan Nagar, a mixed neighbourhood of Hindu and Muslims before the 90s, reverberated with explosions and gunfire.

The loud bang of the gunfire and explosion by the CRPF, could be heard up to two kilometers. 

As the encounter at Karan Nagar raged on, two militants riding a motorbike met with an accident at Sopore in Baramulla. Both of them succumbed. Police said one has been identified while the other could be a foreigner.

Meanwhile, suspected militants shot dead a person at Sandipora in Budgam who was traveling in a Tavera. “In a firing incident in a Tavera (cab) in Sandipora Budgam, one person was injured who later on succumbed. Culprits are on run. Police have started the investigations,” a police spokesman said.

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