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Militants killed; Shopian operation ends
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar |
October 21, 2003 09:29 IST
Last Updated: October 21, 2003 19:24 IST
The 30-hour-long hostage crisis in Pulwama district, south Kashmir, ended on Tuesday with security forces killing the militants hours after rescuing eight civilians they had held hostage.
The bodies of two militants were found. The remaining bodies were said to be in the rubble of the house -- in Thuraun village near Shopian, south Kashmir -- that the security forces blew up with the help of mortar shells.
According to sources, the civilians, who were rescued in an early morning operation, had said around three or four militants were there in the house.
The security forces had to lob teargas shells inside the house to secure the civilians' release.
Meanwhile, police said a deputy inspector general of the Central Reserve Police Force had a miraculous escape when an improvised explosive device exploded a few metres ahead of his bullet-proof car while he was on his way to the encounter site.
The Shopian crisis began early Monday when Rashtriya Rifles troops surrounded the house following information that militants had taken shelter there.
Civilians were sent inside to persuade them to surrender. Instead, the militants used them as a bargaining chip to demand free passage.