Jammu/New Delhi: A fierce encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore is still underway to eliminate a group of heavily armed militants beloved to be associated with Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) holed up inside the Entrepreneurs Development Institute (EDI) building.
So far one militant and five security persons have lost their lives in the ongoing encounter on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
"One militant has been killed so far in the encounter. Today, three security personnel lost their lives which include two army officers and one jawan. In total, there have been five causalities, which include three army persons and two CRPF persons," CRPF PRO Bhavesh Kumar told the reporters.
"As the building consists of four-five floors, we have to sanitize and search. Only then we can call the operation to be over," he added.
Late on Sunday, an Army officer - Captain Tushar Mahajan from Udhampur belonging to the elite Para unit- was killed after he succumbed to his injuries sustained during the ongoing operation that started on Saturday.
Earlier on Sunday, a captain from the elite Para unit who was injured in the encounter lost his life.
Captain Pawan Kumar, a young officer from Haryana's Jind area, sustained grievous injuries in militant firing as security forces tried to make their way into the building in the wee hours of Sunday, an Army official said.
Kumar succumbed to injuries later.
As the security forces exchanged heavy gunfire with the holed up militants, another soldier from the Para unit, Om Prakash, was injured and taken to 92 Base Hospital of the Army at Badamibagh Cantonment where he succumbed.
Two CRPF jawans and a civilian were killed and nine other jawans injured when militants opened fire on a CRPF convoy yesterday afternoon. The ultras then took shelter inside the EDI building, triggering a stand-off.
Nearly 100 civilians - staff and students of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) -- were evacuated to safety by the security forces from the building, a police official said.
He said the operation might be prolonged as militants seem to be heavily armed.
The open structure of the building where the militants are hiding also poses a difficulty to the security forces in advancing towards it, he added.
With IANS inputs