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Disturbance in Kashmir: 6 died in a fierce clash with militants

A fierce clash broke out between Indian security forces and militants in several localities of Pampore area of Pulwama district in Kashmir region on Sunday 21st Feb.

Loud explosions and blistering sounds of guns erupted on the premises of the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) buildings in South Kashmir’s Pampore area where militants were holed up since Saturday. As per sources, the militants attacked a CRPF convoy on the Srinagar- Jammu highway outside the EDI.

Security forces personnel takes position outside the JKEDI building
Security forces personnel takes position outside the JKEDI building

The vicious gun-battle continued for two days after the militants launched an assault in which 3 para commandos of the Army, 2 CRPF officials and a civilian have been killed so far, taking the death toll to the total of six.

J&K EDI building
J&K EDI building

Bhavesh Chaudhary (a paramilitary spokesman) told that the attackers were numbering two to three, fired guns and grenades from the government building where they have been hiding since Saturday 20 Feb. He told:

“The militants are apparently firing from AK-47 and have grenades”

Two brave army officials, Captain Tushar Mahajan from the elite Para unit and Captain Pawan Kumar of the same unit lost their life while storming the seized building. Sources told that a terrorist was also killed by the security forces.

According to an army personnel:

“Captain Pawan was leading from the the front. He declined a sick leave and joined the operation”

Captain Pawan Kumar
Captain Pawan Kumar

As per sources, attackers belonged to the militant outfit ‘Lashkar-e-Taiba‘ (LeT) and had infiltrated into Kashmir from Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

Witnesses told sources that youths ignored the appeals from the police officials to stay away from the restricted site of the gun-battle and in-fact staged massive protests in Frestbal, Drangbal, Samboora and other adjoining areas.

Youth throwing stones
Youth protesting

Nearly 100 civilians (staff and students of EDI) were evacuated to safety by the security forces from the terror struck building. The operation might be prolonged as militants seem to be heavily armed.

“open structure of the building where the militants are hiding also poses a difficulty to the forces in advancing towards it”

Women employees evacuated by the security forces
Women employees evacuated by the security forces

Sources: The Hindu, Washington Post

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