Pampore encounter: 1 soldier hurt in ongoing gunfight, 2-3 militants trapped

In the on-going operation, a soldier has been reported injured, while parts of the building suffered damages in fire.
Srinagar: Soldiers deployed on Srinagar road as curfew continues for the 35th consecutive day in Kashmir on Aug 12, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

One security personnel was injured on Monday in a gunfight that erupted after a group of militants seized the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) complex near Pampore and opened fire at security personnel, media reports said.

As this report is filed, the gunfight between the militants and security forces was underway after it was started around 6 am. Two to three militants are trapped in the building.

It is to be noted that the same building was also targeted in a major attack in February, where two soldiers, including an officer, a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in an operation that lasted 48 hours.

The seven-storey building has 50 rooms, which experts believe is one of the crucial reason to choose this as a spot for attack.

According to media report, an early morning fire was reported from the EDI building, after which fire brigade came, but was denied entry citing security reasons. In the operation, the Indian Army along with CRPF and its special Quick Action team is on ground with Jammu and Kashmir police. The security forces have cordoned off the building area.

Sources said terrorists who broke into the institute in the morning approached the campus on the outskirts of Srinagar through boats on the River Jhelum, which flows in Pakistan. The terrorists then set sections of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) hostel building on fire to lure security forces. When they arrived, a major gunbattle broke out. Explosions were heard since the morning.

In the on-going operation, a soldier has been reported injured, while parts of the building suffered damages in fire. It is being reported that terrorists are using AK-47 along with other ammunition. There is no fire from terrorists, as of now, which experts believe is either because they don’t want to disclose their location in the building or are trying to save their ammunition.

“We are confident of neutralising the terrorists as soon as possible,” an Army officer supervising the operation said.

Intel agencies have been warning of terror attacks in retaliation to the surgical strikes conducted by India across the Line of Control two weeks ago. Soldiers raided staging areas in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir where terrorists were waiting to cross the border and attack major cities, the Army said.