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11 killed in Kashmir fidayeen attacks

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar | August 07, 2004 17:28 IST

Violence in Jammu and Kashmir has registered a new high in the past 12 hours, with 11 persons including five security men killed in suicide attacks by militants. 

Union Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh, who arrived in Srinagar on a two-day tour of the state accompanied by Joint Secretary Kashmir Affairs K S Ramasubban, met Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Singh met senior officers from the police, paramilitary forces and intelligence services. 

Police in Srinagar said seven persons including three army troopers were killed in a fierce gun battle during a cordon and search operation at Arigoripora near Kangan on the flanks of the strategic Srinagar-Sonmarg road, which is currently being used by pilgrims to reach the Amarnath Cave shrine via the Baltel base camp.

Troops of Rashtriya Rifles encircled Arigoripora village yesterday and came under fire from hiding militants who hurled grenades and fired automatic weapons. Three RR soldiers were killed. Three militants also died in the gunfight, which ended late last night. A woman was also killed during the encounter.

Two members of the Special Operations Group were killed and two wounded when they came under heavy fire from militants during a raid on a house at Konabal, near the saffron-rich town of Pampore late last evening. 

Army reinforcements later surrounded the south Kashmir village and engaged the militants in a gun battle. Two militants have been gunned down so far, police said.

The spurt in violence follows recent fidayeen attacks in Srinagar. Late Wednesday night two militants attacked a paramilitary central reserve police force camp in the posh Rajbagh area. Nine CRPF troopers died in the attack. One attacker was gunned down while the others escaped.

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