January 2005 News

Four Dead In Kashmir Gun Battle

16 January 2005

New Delhi: A 25-hour siege in Indian-administered Kashmir has ended after two militants were killed by security forces. Two Indian soldiers were also killed in the stand-off, which developed after two heavily armed men stormed a federal complex in Srinagar. 'We have killed both the militants. The standoff is over,' said deputy inspector general of police SS Singh. The bodies of the two soldiers were recovered from a burnt-out building that caught fire during the battle. The authorities are unable to explain how the militants entered the complex on Saturday without being noticed, the BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says. The men, from a pro-Pakistan group, split up inside the complex, which is used by India's central reserve police force. Fierce fighting Hundreds of paramilitaries deployed at the complex exchanged heavy fire with the men before the stand-off was declared over, officials said. At least five security personnel were injured in fierce gun battles. QUICK GUIDE Kashmir dispute The complex, built around a sports stadium, houses a number of federal government buildings, and is scheduled to host an Indian Republic Day parade on 26 January. The day is traditionally a target for Kashmiri separatist group and rebels, and security had been stepped up. The al-Mansurin militant group claimed responsibility for the attack. Nine days ago, the same group said it was behind an attack in which a Srinagar government building was set on fire, killing four people. Militant separatists have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, which is claimed by both Pakistan and India, since 1989. About 40,000 people are reported to have been killed since then, though separatists say the figure is higher.


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