Srinagar: A gunfight broke out between security forces and militants after their attempt to strike at a CRPF camp here was foiled, killing a paramilitary soldier and injuring a policeman, officials said Monday. The encounter site is barely a few hundred meters away from the SMHS hospital from where militants managed to free their accomplice last week.
The militants, according to reports are holed up inside an abandoned house in Karan Nagar, in the heart of Srinagar city, after their early morning bid to storm into the camp was foiled, triggering the gunfight.
The soldier, Mujahid Khan, belonging to 49 Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), suffered injuries in the gunfight and died hours later, they said.
Police said that one policemen was injured during the gunfight.
“One police Jawan injured. He is stable and is being treated,” police Twitter handle said.
Intermittent exchange of fire continued, there were also clashes between security forces and stone-pelting youths near the site, they said.
Meanwhile, the government informed the assembly that a CRPF man has been killed in the ongoing encounter.
Giving details of the incident, the Minister for Revenue, Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rehman Veeri Monday said that at about 4:30 am on Monday, a sentry at CRPF 23 Battalion Headquarter Karan Nagar Srinagar spotted two militants carrying Pithu bags and armed with AK 47 rifles opened fire due to which the militants escaped towards a nearby locality.
The Minister said at about 10 hours, while conducting search in the area, the search party was fired upon near Gole Market Karan Nagar which was retaliated leading to an encounter. He said the militants have been cornered in an abandoned house near 23 Bn CRPF headquarters and the encounter is still on.
Meanwhile, Lashkar-e-Toiba has claimed the responsibility for the attack in Karan Nagar.
“The freedom fighters of Lashkar-e-Taiba continue to seize control of the stronghold in Karan Nagar (Srinagar). If India has any guts to face the Mujahideen, we invite you to fight! But we believe that it is the worst coward military army in the world,” Lashkar chief said in a statement.
The heavily-armed militants tried to strike the CRPF camp, located very close to SMHS Hospital from where Lashkar- e-Taiba militant Naveed Jutt alias Abu Hanzala was freed from police custody by militants on February 6.
"The sentry at the camp noticed two suspicious persons at around 4.30 am, carrying backpacks and weapons. He challenged them and opened fire," a spokesman of the CRPF said.
“I congratulate alert CRPF sentry for averting Suicidal attack in Karan nagar Srinagar. Fortunately 2 terrorists are in cordon & exchange of fire going on,” DGP SP Vaid wrote on Twitter.
The militants fled from the spot and took shelter in the abandoned house in residential area, the officials said.
The incident comes two days after Jaish-e-Mohammad militants attacked an Army camp in Sunjwan area of Jammu, killing six people including five soldiers.
The encounter is the third major attack after militants stormed the Police lines in Pulwama and in Sunjwan Jammu. Five CRPF men were killed when three Jaish militants stormed the police lines in Lethpora Pulwama in January this year.
Meanwhile, in Sunjwan area of Jammu, five Army personnel and a civilian were killed after Lashkar strikes on the Sunjwan Army camp. Three militants were also killed in the attack.