At least eight security personnel lost their lives, while three militants were gunned down in an encounter in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, said police. Five more security personnel have been injured in the gunfight. The militants, believed to be fidayeen, had attacked a camp close to the District Police Lines. Militant organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
J&K Police chief S P Vaid said there was “no security lapse” in the ‘fidayeen’ (suicide) attack on a district police complex in south Kashmir’s Pulwama today, in which eight security personnel were killed. “You cannot prevent (an attack) if somebody is ready to die,” he told PTI. Vaid further added that the militants had taken shelter in the family quarters of the complex. “The security forces together evacuated everybody from those blocks and in the process, we have suffered some casualties, but the terrorists have been eliminated,” he added.
The police chief was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony for two CRPF jawans – constable Jaswant Singh, a resident of Haryana, and head constable Dhanawade Ravindra Baban, a resident of Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Police tweeted saying there’s no hostage situation, all families evacuated, operation on, tweets J&K police. Extra forces have been rushed to the spot. The Ministry of Home Affairs, in a statement to the media, said that militants have been cornered in a set of government quarters and action to flush them out is in process, adding that exact number of militants is still not known.
Commenting on the encounter, Rajnath Singh said: Two SPOs of J&K are trapped. Hope that SPOs would be rescued safely.” The meeting was attended by NSA Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and others.
Officials said the camp was targeted to inflict high casualties on forces, especially the troops based in the District Police Lines. High alert has been issued in south Kashmir.
Locals said the firing started around 4 am. The camp, that has been attacked, is situated in a high security area and close to DC and SSP office on Shopian Pulwama highway.
According to news agency ANI, three militants were said to be involved in the attack and had been localised into two blocks. Militants also fired an UBGL RD which got blown up in the DPL ground.
(Inputs from Mir Ehsan)