Pampore encounter: Stand-off continues as toll rises to seven; militants still holed up inside building

Earlier on Sunday, Captain Pawan Kumar of 10 Para Regiment was killed when he entered the JKEDI multi-storeyed building in which the guerrillas are holed up.

Pampore encounter: Stand-off continues as toll rises to seven; militants still holed up inside building

Srinagar: The stand-off between militants and security forces in Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district continued on Sunday as the army and the para-military troopers intensified their operations, killing one militant even as the toll rose to seven.

So far, five security personnel, one civilian and a militant were killed in the ongoing gunfight.

On Sunday, an officer of the Indian army's elite Para Regiment was killed while another injured soldier died in hospital. One of the militants was also killed.

Captain Tushar Mahajan was killed in the gun-battle with militants holed-up inside the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) complex in Pampore.

Mahajan belonged to Udhampur district.

Earlier on Sunday, Captain Pawan Kumar of 10 Para Regiment was killed when he entered the JKEDI multi-storeyed building in which the guerrillas are holed up.

Captain Pawan Kumar belonged to Haryana's Jind and was the only son of his parents.

"Lance Naik Om Prakash of the Para Commandos, injured in the gunfight during the day, succumbed to critical injuries in the army's base hospital in Srinagar," said a police officer.

The toll in the gunfight among the security forces now comprises three soldiers, and two CRPF troopers. A civilian identified as Abdul Gani Mir of Gundipora village of Pulwama district, who worked as a gardener at the JKEDI complex, was also killed.

A total of 13 other security men have so far been injured in the gunfight that started on Saturday when guerrillas attacked a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

After attacking the bus, the group of three to five heavily-armed militants, said to be of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), entered the JKEDI complex where some 120 staff were inside the complex.

All the civilians were safely evacuated before the operation was started by the security forces against the holed up guerrillas.

Security forces on Sunday pressed drones into service to pinpoint the exact location of the guerrillas inside the building whose top floor has already been destroyed in the fire caused by the use of explosives to flush out the militants.

A senior police officer said the security forces have entered the ground floor, while the guerrillas are in the upper floors.

Meanwhile, dozens of protesters resorted to heavy stone pelting at the security forces in Pampore town and some other places close to the gunfight site.

Two protesters sustained injuries in tear smoke shelling and aerial firing by security forces to disperse the protesters. The Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for the second day Sunday due to the gunfight.

(With agency inputs)

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