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After 3 years, terror returns to Kashmir

Five CRPF troopers and two terrorists were killed on Wednesday when the guerrillas attacked a paramilitary picket in the first terror attack in the Kashmir Valley in three years.

Ten others were injured when a deadly firefight erupted as at least two heavily armed militants entered the play ground of a police public school in Bemina area.


Under attack: Indian soldiers take position outside a school after an attack on paramilitary personnel in Srinagar.  Personnel carry an injured comrade on a stretcher at the school compound. Pics/AFP

The attackers had apparently mingled with some boys who went to the school to play cricket. The school was shut because of a strike in the Kashmir Valley called by separatists. A police officer said, “There was fierce exchange of gunfire, and two militants were killed. Five CRPF troopers were martyred.”

Three civilians and six men of the Central Reserve Police Force were injured in the attack. “All the injured civilians are out of danger. Doctors have described the condition of one injured CRPF personnel as critical,” a police officer said.

Security forces immediately cordoned off the ground and mounted a massive search for militants who could be hidden in the complex.

Wednesday’s suicide attack in Srinagar is the first since 2010. The attack came at a time when the separatists had called for protests in the Kashmir Valley to mount pressure on the government to return the body of Afzal Guru, who was hanged for the attack on parliament.

The Hizbul Mujahedeen militant group claimed responsibility for the attack and warned that “the outfit will carry on such attacks in (the) future also”.

Home Secretary RK Singh said he believed the attackers came from Pakistan. But Pakistan’s Foreign Office dismissed the charge.

“Pakistan strongly rejects any allegations made about its involvement in the incident in Kashmir on Wednesday,” spokesman Moazzam Ahmed Khan said.         

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