Intermittent fire exchange start at Kashmir gunfight site

Srinagar, Feb 22 (IANS) Intermittent exchange of fire began Monday morning between holed up militants and the security forces in Pampore town of Kashmir where a group of heavily armed guerrillas is holed up for the last three days, police said.

“Intermittent firing exchanges have started at the JKEDI (Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute) complex in Pampore on Monday morning,” a senior police official said.

“The hiding militants are heavily armed, but they have been surrounded from all sides and their escape is ruled out,” the official said.

So far, six people including a civilian, three army soldiers including two captains, and two paramilitary troopers of the central reserve police force (CRPF) have been killed in this gunfight.

The gunfight started on Saturday evening when guerrillas attacked a CRPF bus at Sempora (Pampore) on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

After attacking the bus, the guerrillas had entered the JKEDI complex and taken shelter in the multi-storeyed building.

About 120 trainees and staff members were safely evacuated from the complex before the security forces started the flushing out operation against the guerrillas.

The slain people include Abdul Gani Mir of Gundipora Pulwama, JKEDI gardener, captain Pawan Kumar of 10 para regiment belonging to Jind (Haryana), captain Tushar Mahajan of nine para regiment belonging to Udhampur town of Jammu region, Lance naik Om Prakash of nine para regiment, head constable Bhola Prasad and driver constable R. K. Rana, both of the CRPF.

A CRPF spokesman who initially told reporters that a guerrilla had been killed in the gunfight later denied it saying there had been some confusion about it.

Meanwhile, authorities on Monday imposed restrictions in Pampore town where dozens of protesters yesterday indulged in heavy stone pelting as they tried to march towards the gunfight site.

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