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JK: Hostage drama ends, but scare remains

August 28, 2008 14:14 IST
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A high alert was sounded in Jammu with authorities suspecting the presence of more militants after four infiltrators were killed by security forces, endingĀ a 19-hour hostage drama.

Security has been beefed up in areas along the IB and LoC and police has intensified frisking and checking of vehicles with all entry and exit points in the city being sealed.

"There could be more infiltrators hiding in some other areas on the outskirts of the city and the need is to maintain vigilance," Director General of Police (DGP) Kuldeep Khoda said.

Alert has been sounded and police stations have been asked to monitor the situation round the clock in their respective areas, he said.

Search and combing operations have been launched in Muthi, Gajansoo, Marh, Akhnoor, Gharota, Hiranagar and other places, including the adjoining border areas, were on, Khoda said. Besides screening of vehicles is being done by multi-tier security agencies, including the CRPF and Army, he said.

Security has been beefed up along the Pathankote-Jammu-Udhampur railway line and stations, Deputy Inspector General, Railway, Niaz Mehmood said.

The Army has been deployed for the purpose as an important section of the track runs close to the Indo-Pak border in Samba and Hiranagar districts, he said.

Three hostages killed

Earlier, the nearly 20-hour long gunbattle ended in the wee hours of Thursday. Ten people, including six civilians, an army officer and three militants were killed in the gunbattle.

The security forces stormed the house and gunned down the lone holed-up militant and rescued the remaining civilian hostages.

"The operation is over," a senior state government officer said. "We safely rescued six hostages. Ten people including three civilians, three hostages, an army officer and three militants were killed during the operation."

The four injured, including a woman hostage, are undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Six hostages, including four children, their mother who sustained bullet injuries in her leg and one more person, were safe after the prolonged hostage drama and gunbattle between the security forces and militants.

However, three hostages were killed by the militants before the final assault was launched, said army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel S D Goswami

Gunbattle started early Wednesday

The gun battle started early Wednesday, after three militants who sneaked in from the Kanachak sector of the border came to Bantallab locality on a three-wheeler, and opened indiscriminate fire, killing three civilians, before forcibly entering a house.

The house was immediately surrounded by paramilitary troops, and the army troops joined them later.

The militants took nine members from two families hostage and started firing at the surrounding troops, killing one junior commissioned officer on Wednesday.

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