SRINAGAR, Feb 13: Two Fidayeen of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in a 32-hour long gun battle by security forces in Karan Nagar area of Srinagar today.
The security forces operation to flush out the fidayeen from the under-construction building in the heart of the city was carried out by a Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Central Reserve Police Force.
Earlier, yesterday morning the CRPF foiled an attempt by two LeT fidayeen to storm into 23rd battalion headquarters of the force at Karan Nagar. The fidayeen after failing to storm the camp were trapped in an adjacent under-construction building.
Huge explosions continued since yesterday till this afternoon. The gun battle ended this afternoon after security forces eliminated both the militants. Security forces recovered two AK-47 assault rifles and eight magazines from the site. Click here to watch video
A CRPF jawan was killed and a policeman injured in the initial exchange of fire yesterday.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, S P Pani said the militants who tried to attack the CRPF camp in Karan Nagar area early yesterday morning belonged to the Lashkar-e- Toiba (LeT) group.
“The materials we recovered from the site of the encounter suggest that the militants belonged to LeT. But the militants have not been identified yet and we are trying to ascertain their identity,” he told at a joint press conference with CRPF IG.
Pani said it was a clean operation without collateral damage, adding that it continued for long as the building where the terrorists were hiding was a five-storey structure.
“An alert sentry had foiled their attempt to attack the CRPF camp by opening fire on the terrorists, after which they took shelter in the under-construction structure in Karan Nagar locality that has both commercial and residential buildings”, he said.
“Since the operation was in a very congested locality and a lot of civilian population were around all the civilian population was first removed from the area. We thank the citizens of Srinagar city as they cooperated with us and it’s because of their help the entire area was vacated. Subsequently, a deliberate assault was planned jointly by SOG and CRPF. The operation was clean as we ensured that there was no collateral damage other than the location the terrorists were hiding”, he said.
IG CRPF Ravideep Sahi said security forces conducted a comprehensive recce of the area and devised a strategy before launching the operation. “We rescued five families of CRPF personnel as well as a few civilians and once the sanitisation of the area was done, the operation was launched,” he said.
“The paramilitary force could have suffered huge losses had it not been for the alert sentry who thwarted the fidayeen attack”, he said.
Asked if there could be more militants hiding in the area, Sahi said the sentry saw only two militants. “The sentry has done a commendable job and once the dust settles, we will surely award him,” he said.
Asked if there were reports of more militants in the city or inputs of more attacks, the CRPF officer said the forces were on the alert. “The conditions and the environment in which we are working, I can only say this, that our jawans on ground are very alert to the security challenges which we face. Our jawans and officers are sensitive and whatever challenges are there, we will face them,” he said.
Authorities had imposed restrictions in the area as a precautionary measure to stop people from converging near the encounter site. As part of the measures, Internet speed was reduced in Srinagar.