20-hr-long encounter in Srinagar school ends; 2 militants killed, 2 para commandos injured

The militants had entered the Delhi Public School close to the Srinagar-Jammu NHlast evening after attacking a CRPF party in the nearby Pantha Chowk, killing one officer and injuring a constable.

Published: 25th June 2017 08:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2017 08:18 PM   |  A+A-

Army personnel laying a Gorden after the CRPF vehicle was attacked by militants at Pantha Chowk in Srinagar on Saturday. A CRPF jawan was killed and another injured in attack. | PTI

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The 20-hour long encounter inside Delhi Public School (DPS) at Pantha Chowk in Srinagar on Srinagar-Jammu national highway ended on Sunday with the killing of two holed-up Lashkar-e-Toiba militants.

Two para commandos of army were injured in the encounter today while a CRPF sub inspector was killed and another jawan injured yesterday after their vehicle was attacked by the militants, who later took refuge in building of DPS.

“The two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants holed-up in a four-storey building of DPS at Pantha Chowk, Srinagar were killed in the encounter with security forces this evening,” IG CRPF Ravideep Singh Sahi told New Indian Express.

He said both were foreigners and their identity was being ascertained.

The militants had barged into the school building after attacking a CRPF vehicle near DPS school at Pantha Chowk area in Srinagar at around 5.40 pm on Saturday. A CRPF Sub Inspector Saheb Shukla was killed and another CRPF jawan Nisar Ahmad injured in the attack.

The militant attack took place in a high security zone, which is always dotted by security personnel and is about a kilometre away from headquarters of Army’s 15 Corps.

After the militant attack yesterday, police, CRPF and army men launched a joint cordon and search operation in the DPS to flush out the militants, who were hiding there.

CRPF spokesman in Srinagar Rajesh Yadav said as the security personnel were laying siege, the militants fired on the security personnel from inside the building. “The fire was returned by the troops and afterwards there was a calm for few hours”.

A police official, who was part of the operation, said at around midnight, militants fired from AK-47 rifles towards the security personnel from the administrative block of the school.

He said the militants also lobbed grenades.

The fire was returned by the troops and the gunshots and loud explosions could be heard from few kilometers from the school.

Sources said security forces used drone cameras and other hi-tech gadgets in the day today to trace the location of the militants, who were changing their positions inside the building and engaging the security personnel.

IG CRPF said the operation was planned meticulously and restraint was observed as it was a school building.

He, however, said they had to use whatever force to kill the militants and end their resistance.

Sahi said both the Lashkar militants were well-trained fidayeen.

Sources said security personnel fired RPGs, mortar shells and used heavy machine guns besides assault rifles to flush out the militants from the school building.

“The operation ended at around 6 pm with the killing of both Lashkar militants. Two para commandos of army sustained injuries in the encounter. Among the injured is a Major-rank officer,” they said.

The injured para commandos were evacuated to army hospital for specialized treatment.

The administrative block of the school building suffered extensive damage during the gunfight.

The vehicular traffic on Srinagar-Jammu  national highway from Pantha Chowk route was suspended after militant attack on Saturday.

The road would be thrown open for vehicular traffic after clearance operation in the school is completed by security forces, a police official said.

The authorities had imposed restrictions in and around the encounter site to prevent local population, especially youth, from taking to roads, staging protests and pelting stones on the security personnel as has been the new norm during the encounters in the Valley.

Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba had yesterday claimed responsibility for the militant attack on CRPF vehicle.

A spokesman of the group had claimed that three CRPF men were killed in the attack.

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