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2 militants, 3 CRPF jawans killed in attack

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: November 23, 2005 21:31 IST
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Two militants and three Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed when the CRPF foiled the ultras' bid to storm their camp on Wednesday, a CRPF spokesman said.

One member of the fidayeen squad was killed when CRPF guards opened fire to prevent them from storming their camp located inside Firdous cinema at Hawal in downtown Srinagar, spokesman Rakesh Kumar Singh told reporters. Another militant was killed later.

Giving details of the Hawal encounter, he said two fidayeen armed with automatic weapons hurled hand grenades and opened indiscriminate fire upon the CRPF jawans near the main gate of the 96 Battalion's headquarters, set up in Firdous Cinema, in the downtown city.

In the exchange of fire, a nearby restaurant caught fire and got damaged, said a spokesman. Later two CRPF personnel succumbed to wounds in the hospital, he added.

A jawan was also injured in the initial firing by the militants, he added. CRPF troops immediately cordoned off the area.

Elsewhere in the state, security forces killed three militants while ultras shot at a civilians and attacked a police party during the past 24 hours, an official spokesman said Wednesday.

Panic gripped the area immediately after the attack and the whole area wore a deserted look with all shopkeepers abandoning their establishments and movement of transport coming to a standstill, official sources said.

No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, they added.

Today's was the fifth major strike by militants in the Kashmir valley after Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad took over as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, replacing PDP's Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on November 2.

(With inputs from UNI)

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar