October 2016 News

3-day Pampore Encounter Ends, 2 Terrorists Killed

12 October 2016
DNA
Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

Srinagar: The 57-hour-long gun battle between two terrorists and the army ended on Wednesday after the security forces gunned down the second militant holed up in a government building on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. The army had killed one of the two terrorists on Tuesday evening after unleashing a barrage of grenades, rockets and explosives to flush them out of the seven-storey J&K Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) hostel building. The operation started on Monday morning when the terrorists cruised through Jhelum and occupied the hostel building to engage the security forces in a gunfight. Eyewitnesses said that the group entered through the rear side and broke open the window panes to gain access to the hostel building. The terrorists had resorted to indiscriminate firing on day one, besides setting some of the rooms on fire. An army jawan was injured in the encounter, police said. The army operation was meticulously planned to avoid collateral damage and special para-commandos were brought in to take on the highly-entrenched terrorists. The forces pounded the building to create a percussion effect, by breaking all glasses and expose the terrorists before pinning them down. 'These terrorists most likely belong to Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT),' said Major General Ashok Narula, general officer commanding (GOC) Victor Force of the Indian Army adding, 'It was a tricky operation as the building was huge and we did not want any collateral damage.' The GOC said the army started the operation on Monday morning and on Tuesday kept working on it before clearing up the whole premises on Wednesday morning. 'It is very sad that militants for the second time have occupied the EDI, which is a pride of Kashmir and centre of excellence where youth get employment. We have taken time because the building has ground floor plus six others floors and one attic. All 60 rooms are bath-attached, the one reason it took time to clear the building,' he said. Police said the bodies of the terrorists have been recovered from the encounter site and their identity is being ascertained. Two AK rifles, nine magazines, grenades and other ammunition have been recovered from the site. 'They chose this building to draw the media attention. After the encounter in Baramulla we had information that there might be people who try to sneak in to the city and carry out such attacks on the highways,' said SJM Gillani, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone.

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