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Srinagar encounter ends; toll 6

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | November 20, 2003 19:12 IST

A two-day encounter in Srinagar ended on Thursday with the death of six people, including two militants.

Fourteen people were injured and two houses and a BSNL telephone exchange worth crores were also destroyed.

The encounter began on Tuesday evening when the militants attacked the battalion headquarters of the CRPF with grenades and assault rifles. One CRPF trooper was killed and four were injured.

The militants then entered the telephone exchange and started firing. Army troops quickly surrounded the building and rescued 17 people. However, one employee, identified as Kuldeep Singh, was trapped inside.

The army engaged the militants in a gun battle during which one commanding officer of the Rashtriya Rifles and a major were killed; ten were wounded.

One militant was killed on Thursday morning and the army launched the final assault in the afternoon.

"Sounds of explosions and grenades followed a raid on the gutted exchange building," one official told rediff.com

The troops sprayed bullets and shelled the building, killing the second militant.

The troops then entered the building and recovered the bodies of the two militants and that of the BSNL employee who was trapped inside.

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