Five Central Reserve Police Force troopers and two suicide attackers were among seven persons killed and nine others wounded in a fidayeen attack in the Bemina locality of Srinagar on Wednesday morning. Those injured included seven CRPF troopers and two civilians. All the injured have been evacuated to hospital for treatment.
A senior police officer said two militants attacked a CRPF patrol at Bemina near a public school on Wednesday morning lobbing grenades and firing from automatic weapons. “Five CRPF jawans were killed on the spot and seven other jawans were injured,” the officer added.
Senior policemen and paramilitary CRPF officers rushed to the spot along with reinforcements and the area was immediately surrounded. He said the CRPF and police retaliated and engaged the militants in a gunfight near a school during which the two suicide attackers were killed.
However, the he Police Public School was closed due to strike called by separatists in support of their demand for return of mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Abdul Gani Mir said the group affiliation and identity of the militants killed in the incident was a matter of investigation.
Tension gripped Srinagar where shops, businesses were shut and public transport was off the roads. However, skeletal private transport was seen plying on the city roads.
The strike has been called by the separatist conglomerate Mutaihida Majlis-e-Mashawarat, which is spearheading the current phase of protests and shutdowns in Kashmir Valley.
The area is now being combed to ensure that no attacker has escaped or hiding in the area where a CRPF battalion headquarter is located.
This is the first major militant strike in the heart of Srinagar since 2009 and at a time when the authorities are bracing up for the upcoming tourist season.
Jammu and Kashmir police chief Ashok Prasad had on Tuesday warned separatists to desist from calling shutdowns which were creating difficulties for the common man.
With inputs from PTI