Fresh firing broke out on Monday between militants and security forces as the operation against extremists holed up in a government building in Pampore town on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway entered the third day. "Militants inside the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building, which is up in flames, have engaged security forces in intermittent exchange of fire since 5.30 am," said a police official.
He also said that there were no fresh casualties so far in Mnday's operation as security forces have adopted a strategy of wearing down militants physically as well as in terms of ammunition reserves. Two CRPF jawans and a civilian were killed and nine other jawans injured when militants opened fire a on a CRPF convoy on Saturday afternoon. After attacking the bus, the guerrillas had entered the JKEDI complex and taken shelter in the multi-storeyed building, triggering a stand-off.
Nearly 100 civilians — staff and students of EDI — were evacuated to safety by the security forces from the building. As the security forces mounted an assault on the building on Sunday, they met with stiff resistance from the ultras who are holding various vantage points inside the building. Those killed in the firing include Abdul Gani Mir of Gundipora Pulwama, JKEDI gardener, Captain Pawan Kumar of 10 para regiment belonging to Jind (Haryana), Captain Tushar Mahajan of nine Para regiment belonging to Udhampur town of Jammu region, Lance Naik Om Prakash of nine Para regiment, head constable Bhola Prasad and driver constable R. K. Rana, both of the CRPF.
A CRPF spokesman who initially told reporters that a militant had been killed in the gunfight later denied it saying there had been some confusion about it.
With inputs from agencies