Pampore encounter: 56-hour gunbattle ends in death of 2 LeT terrorists

Adopting cautious approach, security forces pound EDI building for nearly three days to flush out suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists

The operation has reduced the EDI building to a skeleton after many of its walls were blown up. Pic/PTI
The operation has reduced the EDI building to a skeleton after many of its walls were blown up. Pic/PTI

Srinagar: A 56-hour gunbattle between terrorists and security forces in Pampore ended yesterday with the killing of two ultras who were holed up in a government building on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

“We have recovered bodies of two terrorists and the search operation at the EDI building in Pampore has been completed,” an army official said.

The militants had struck the imposing Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building in February this year as well. Adopting a cautious approach, the security forces pounded the EDI building since Monday to flush out the terrorists suspected to be of Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT). “We have taken our time. This is one building and it has 60 rooms. It has a ground floor, six floors and one attic. 60 rooms have as many bathrooms. That is the reason it takes time to clear each and every room,” Major General Ashok Naurla said. “We took our time to eliminate the terrorists to avoid collateral damage,” he said at the end of the operation.

EDI centre of excellence
Regretting the targeting of the building by militants for the second time in the year, the Army officer said, “EDI is a centre of excellence and a lot of our young brethren get employment. And it is very sad that for the second time they have come and an encounter has happened.”

While one militant was killed last evening, the other militant was shot dead by the security forces yesterday, another official said.

Army foils infiltration bid
The army on Wednesday foiled an attempt by separatist guerrillas to infiltrate the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that the incident took place at Tangdhar sector. “A group of heavily armed terrorists was challenged by the troops, forcing them to withdraw back into Pakistan,” the officer said. He said a search operation had been launched to ensure that no terrorist managed to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir.

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