A paramilitary trooper was killed in an ongoing gunfight with militants holed up in a building after a failed terror bid on a CRPF camp in Srinagar, police said.
Intermittent exchange of fire continued, there were also clashes between security forces and stone-pelting youths near the site, sources in the security forces told PTI.
In the wake of the ongoing operations, the administration has suspended mobile internet services in Srinagar and heavy security has been deployed across state, CNN-News18 reported.
The trooper was wounded in the shootout as the security forces prepared for a final assault against the holed-up militants, a police officer said. The jawan belonged to the 49 Battalion of the CRPF.
He was shifted to the nearby SMHS hospital, barely 300 metres away from the site of the gunfight, and later died.
It was the same hospital from where Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Naveed Jaat alias Abu Hunzula managed to escape on 6 February after killing two policemen.
Police said residents in the vicinity have been evacuated.
Troops of the CRPF and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police were carrying out the operation against the militants. "The sentry at the camp noticed two suspicious persons around 4.30 am, carrying backpacks and weapons. He challenged them and opened fire," a spokesman of the CRPF said. After the hiding militants were challenged, they fired at the security forces triggering a gunfight.
Kashmir police chief SP Vaid tweeted:
I congratulate alert CRPF sentry for averting Suicidal attack in Karan nagar Srinagar. Fortunately 2 terrorists are in cordon & exchange of fire going on.
— Shesh Paul Vaid (@spvaid) February 12, 2018
Earlier, around 4.30 am, two militants were spotted carrying bags and armed with AK-47s by an alert sentry at the observation post of 23rd battalion of the CRPF in Karan Nagar area. The two were forced to flee as the sentry fired at them. Searches in the area revealed that the militants, carrying backpacks and AK-47 rifles, had taken shelter in a building near the CRPF camp, which was then surrounded.
Rajnath chairs high-level security meet; Nirmala Sitharaman reaches Jammu
Meanwhile, following the relentless attacks on military establishments across Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level meet over the security situation. The meeting was attended by top ranking security force officials and senior bureaucrats, ANI reported
The home minister was briefed by the Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra on Sunday night about the prevailing situation. Vohra and Singh also discussed the ongoing peace initiative undertaken by Centre's representative Dineshwar Sharma and his meeting with a cross section of people, an official told PTI.
In a separate but related development Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived in Jammu on Monday evening. She will hold talks with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and also visit the injured soldiers at SMHS hospital. Sitharaman is also scheduled to hold a press conference at 6.30 pm.
Terror bid follows Sunjuwan attack
The attempted terror bid on the CRPF camp comes close on the heels of the Sunjuwan military camp attack, where five army personnel and one civilian have lost their lives. Around 12 people including personnel and civilians were injured in the attack, ANI reported. The operation at the Sunjuwan Military Station entered Day 3 with the army launching a "clearing" operation on Sunday night. Parliamentary Affairs minister Abdul Rehman Veeri told the Legislative Assembly that the operation was in its final stages.
Three suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists involved in the attack were killed in the retaliatory action by the army inside the camp and a large quantity of arms and ammunition was seized from them. The terrorists struck before dawn on Saturday and managed to sneak into the camp from the rear side of the base after a brief exchange of fire with the sentry on its periphery.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Feb 12, 2018 16:57 PM | Updated Date: Feb 12, 2018 17:05 PM