IN THE second attack in Karan Nagar area, in the heart of Srinagar, in less than a week, militants targeted a CRPF camp early on Monday. While their attempt to sneak into the camp was foiled, a CRPF constable was killed in the gunfight that followed.
This comes two days after the terror attack on Sunjuwan military station in Jammu, in which five Army personnel and a civilian were killed.
The 23 Battalion CRPF camp, which was targeted on Monday, is located near the SMHS Hospital, from where Pakistani militant Naveed Jat was freed from police custody by terrorists on February 6. Two policemen were killed in that attack.
The Lashkar-e-Toiba has claimed responsibility for today’s attack. The dead CRPF constable has been identified as Mujahid Alam from Bihar. A J&K Police constable was also injured in the attack.
According to sources, two militants tried to enter the CRPF camp in the early hours of Monday, but fled after they were spotted by alert guards. As the CRPF’s Quick Reaction Team (QRT) and J&K Police Special Operation Group launched a cordon-and-search operation, the militants were traced to an under-construction building.
The exchange of fire continued throughout the day, despite snowfall in the city. CRPF spokesman Rajesh Yadav said the encounter was still in progress. “The militants are still in the building and troopers are trying to neutralise them,’’ he said.
‘’I congratulate alert CRPF sentry for averting suicidal attack in Karan Nagar, Srinagar. Fortunately, 2 terrorists are in cordon & exchange of fire going on,’’ J&K Director General of Police S P Vaid tweeted.
A resident said they heard gunshots in the morning. “The firing stopped, and then it again started. We could hear firing from both sides after brief intervals,” he said.
Officials said since the militants were holed up in a big building, the operation could continue for some time. The forces have already made arrangements to light up the area.
The attack comes amid an alert across the state on a possible strike, in view of the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on February 9 and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front founder Maqbool Bhat on February 11.