Srinagar, Feb 13: Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed as more than 27-hour-long encounter at Karan Nagar in heart of the Srinagar city concluded on Tuesday afternoon.
The gunfight started at around 10:00 am on Monday after more than five hours after sentry of 23 bn CRPF camp raised alarm after suspecting movement of the militants.
Soon CRPF and police launched a joint cordon-and-search operation and as they reach near an under construction building, a CRPF officer said that militants fired upon them which was retaliated triggering off an encounter at 10.00 am on Monday.
Senior Superintendent of police (SSP) Srinagar Imtiaz Ismail Parray said that Tuesday morning the exchange of gunfight resumed with the two holed up militants.
“In the fresh gunfight both the holed up militants were killed and both the bodies along with as many AK-47 assault rifle were recovered,” the officer said, adding the search operation in the area was still going.
SSP said that parties were inside the building and carried room to room clearance.
“The search operation amid room to room clearance was underway in the area”, SSP said.
The officer said that the identity of the deceased was yet to be ascertained.
“While one of the militants was killed as he came out of the under construction building to get into another adjacent building, the other was trapped and killed inside the building that they took refuge in on Monday," a police officer said.
SP Pani who on Monday took over as IGP Kashmir Range said that at 23 BN of CRPF located at Karan Nagar on Monday, a sentry noticed some suspicious movement following which he challenged those individuals. “Once they were challenged, the militants reiterated from that place. That way the attack they had planned was repulsed,” he said.
He said that subsequently, a cordon and search operation was launched jointly by the CRPF and police. “During the cordon and search operation, the militants who had taken shelter in a building which was under construction opened fire upon the forces,” he said, adding that in the initial gunfight, a CRPF constable was killed.
“The operation was carried out and in the end today, two militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed. The materials which we recovered that suggest that they are from LeT outfit,” he said, adding that one JKP constable had also sustained minor bullet injury during the operation. “The constable is out of danger and is being treated at SMHS hospital,” he said.
“Since the operation was in a very congested locality and lot of civilian population was around. The civilian population was immediately rescued from the area,” he said, thanking the civilians of city for cooperating with them.
“It is because of the cooperation of civilian population that the entire area was vacated,” adding that it was a “clean operation as no collateral damage” occurred during the operation. “Other than the place where militants were holed up, no other collateral damage has occurred during the gunfight,” he said.
Asked about the identity of the slain militants, the newly appointed IGP said that so far the identification of the militants has not been established. “We are currently ascertaining the identification of the militants,’ he added
In wake of the security operation underway in Karan Nagar, authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar - the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir - to maintain law and order, a police official said.
Restrictions were imposed in eight police station areas as a precautionary measure to prevent youth from staging protests near the site of the gunfight, the official said.
He said curbs, under Section 144 of the CrPc, have been imposed in Nowhatta, Rainawari, Khanyar, Safakadal, M R Gunj, Kralkhud, Shaheedgunj and Karan Nagar police station areas.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), in a statement to The Kashmir Monitor had claimed responsibility for the attack.
One CRPF trooper Mujahid Khan of Bihar was killed during the gunfight while a constable of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Police was injured in the initial shootout.
In wake of the attack, authorities have snapped high-speed mobile Internet service in Srinagar city.