EIGHT SECURITY personnel were killed when two-three militants sneaked into the District Police Lines, a high-security zone, in Pulwama town and targeted buildings used by the Jammu and Kashmir Police Special Operation Group (SOG) early on Saturday morning.
Officials said the attack began around 4 am, when families of many security personnel were at the District Police Lines. The Quick Reaction Team (QRT) first evacuated the families, before launching an operation against the militants. The Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack.
J&K Director General of Police S P Vaid said four CRPF personnel and four from the J&K Police — a constable and three Special Police Officers (SPOs) working with the state police — were killed in the attack. He said the bodies of two militants had been recovered, and search operations were on for a third militant.
Earlier in the day, two SPOs were reported to have been trapped in one of the buildings which the militants stormed. Confirming this, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Delhi had said: “The exact number of militants is still not known. Two SPOs are trapped in the building where they have been cornered.” These two SPOs are among those killed. Two of the four CRPF personnel were killed while defusing an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by the militants, according to sources.
A senior police officer said the militants sneaked into buildings/ quarters used by SOG personnel. According to sources, the militants entered two buildings. “They were trying to inflict heavy casualties on the police,’’ said the police officer. The Army’s 15 Corps commander, Lt General J S Sandhu, said two of the militants had entered the family quarters. “The families were brought out. It was a fidayeen attack and we didn’t have a hostage situation,’’ he said.
Since April, this is the third attack on security forces’ camps in Kashmir. The District Police Lines is located on the Shopian-Pulwama road, near the office of the Deputy Commissioner and SSP, Pulwama.
— With ENS, New Delhi