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8 Security Men Killed in Terror Attack on Police Camp in Kashmir's Pulwama

Two militants who carried out the attack were neutralised after a nearly 12-hour gun battle and two more are believed to be still trapped. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mufti Islah | CNN-News18

Updated:August 26, 2017, 9:45 PM IST
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8 Security Men Killed in Terror Attack on Police Camp in Kashmir's Pulwama
Soldiers take position inside an apple orchard near the site of a gunbattle in Pulwama. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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Pulwama: For once, security forces this year suffered heavy losses in a fidayeen strike as eight security personnel, including four CRPF men, were killed in an ongoing encounter just inside the Pulwama township in south Kashmir on Saturday.

Two militants who carried out the attack were neutralised after a nearly 12-hour gun battle and two more are believed to be still trapped. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Militants had stormed a highly-fortified district police lines just before the break of dawn, drawing a massive security response through the day as they kept on hiding inside a robust police quarter, which comprises of several blocks for families. The township is just 25 km from Srinagar.

The camp houses families of police officers, and dozens of members had a narrow escape as they remained trapped for hours in their residential quarters. Police had a tough time evacuating the families and the counter attack was mounted only after they were rescued.

Muneer Khan, IGP Kashmir, said a group of fidayeens barged into the District Police Lines (DPL) in Pulwama around 4.30 am. Police sources said the militants took cover of darkness and forced their entry in the camp after firing indiscriminately at the sentry. They took shelter in the residential blocks and fired on the forces.

Police chief Jammu and Kashmir S P Vaid said the forces evacuated the inmates and suffered casualties in the process. He said there was no hostage situation.

“All the families were safely evacuated from the complex before the actual attack was mounted,” Manoj Pandita, spokesman for the Jammu and Kashmir Police told News18.

Among those killed four were from the CRPF, one was a constable of Jammu and Kashmir Police and three were Special Police Officers working with the state police. Two of the four CRPF personnel were killed when they were defusing one of the improvised explosive devices planted by the militants.

The official said two militants were killed but fire was still coming from two blocks, indicating presence of at least two more militants. “The body of one of the militants is lying outside a building while the body of other militant is inside,” the official said.

One of the buildings was partially damaged after it caught fire in the gunfight. Smoke kept billowing out of the building through the day.

Saturday’s attack is a setback for forces who have in recent months carried out successful operations against the militants. More than 140 militants have been killed in anti-militancy operations that have picked up pace since the last one month.

The last time militants carried out a major fidayeen attack was in September last year in Uri in North Kashmir, in which 19 soldiers had lost their lives.

The DPL is spread over a huge area and it houses family quarters, counter insurgency Special Operations Group component, a CRPF contingent and police reserves.

The policemen mainly from the SoG component have been pivotal in containing militancy and protests during last year’s unrest. Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam are the most turbulent district in South Kashmir.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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