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Jammu gunbattle ends, child hostages reported safe

August 28, 2008 01:57 IST

Security forces killed the last of the three militants who held seven persons--four children and three women--captive in a house on the outskirts of Jammu, ending a 19-hour hostage drama and gunbattle.
     
However, there was no official word as yet on the fate of the hostages inside the two-storeyed house at Chinore on the city outskirts, 20km from the International Border with Pakistan. Media reports from the spot indicate that the four children and their mother are safe. However two other hostages are reported to have lost their lives.
     
Senior Superintendent of Police (Jammu) Manohar Singh the lone militant who had held out was killed shortly before midnight.
    
Earlier in the evening, security forces killed two of the three militants who had taken the children aged between three and nine years, their mother and two other women, hostage.
     
After eliminating all the ultras, security forceslaunched a search operation in the house to ascertain if booby traps had been laid, Singh said.
     
One militant was killed in the early stage of the encounter that began around 7 AM today and the second terrorist was shot dead in the evening after a three-hour lull in the gunbattle, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu K Rajendra told reporters.
      
Shortly before curtains came down on the hostage drama, the mother of the children was allowed to move out of the house and she told the security forces not to do anything which would endanger the lives of the hostages.




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