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Attack on Srinagar BSNL office: Encounter ends, 5 dead

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: August 28, 2003 13:17 IST
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Five persons, including a militant-turned-politician Javed Ahmad Shah, were killed in a night-long operation by security forces to ferret out some militants holed up in the Greenway Hotel in Srinagar.

Two militants had on Wednesday night attacked the BSNL office near the Greenway Hotel. Nine persons, including the deputy inspector general of police (Border Security Force) in charge of Srinagar, were injured in the encounter.

A body of one of the militants has been recovered. At around 1000 IST, there was a report of firing from inside the hotel, raising the possibility of one of the militant being alive, but it turned out to be a case of accidental firing by a security force personnel.

The Al-Nasireen, believed to be a shadow outfit of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, on Thursday claimed responsibility for the attack.

A caller identifying himself as the spokesman of the outfit identified the two militants involved as Mohammed Ashraf Mir and Abdul Majid Lone. The spokesman replied in the negative when asked whether there was any communication with the duo since Wednesday night.

Authorities had late on Wednesday night rescued 19 civilians who were inside the hotel.

Shah, who had joined the National Conference in 1996, was once a member of the state's legislative council. He was in the premises in connection with his publication business. Shah's personal security officer and another person were also killed in the incident.

With inputs from PTI

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar