5 killed during fresh clashes in Kashmir

Anti-India protests and clashes broke out Sunday in several neighborhoods in the saffron-rich Pampore area, where the fighters are holed up.
Five including four paramilitary men were killed, and 13 other injured when a group of Kashmiri freedom fighters attacked a Central Reserve Police Force convoy near Pampore town on Srinagar-Jammu highway Saturday afternoon, local media reported.
The group seem to be on a fidayeen mission as after carrying out the attack they did not flee but entered the nearby Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building and engaged the security forces in an encounter, injuring two more personnel including a CRPF officer. The gunfight was continuing till late night when this newspaper went to press, ‘Greater Kashmir’reported.
The incident occurred at 3:45 pm when heavily armed fighters, believed to be two to three in number, attacked a CRPF convoy that was coming from Jammu to Srinagar. “As the convoy reached near EDI, fighters fired on the vehicles leaving at least 11 CRPF men injured, two of them critically,” police sources said.
Para military forces and police have been deployed in many sensitive areas to stop any kind of protests. The shutdown call was given by all separatist groups including Hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Yaseen Malik.

The standoff started Saturday when the freedom fighters fired automatic rifles as they ambushed a convoy of Indian paramilitary soldiers before taking refuge in the nearby government building. They allowed more than 100 civilian government employees to leave the building without any harm.

Praveen Kumar, an injured constable receiving treatment in hospital, said, “We were coming back from vacation, I saw two pheran clad boys on the highway, as soon as our bus reached near them, they fired on us. A bullet hit our Havaldar injuring him seriously, driver too was hit. We retaliated, but after that we don’t know what happened.”
A civilian, Abdul Gani Mir of Gundipora Pulwama, succumbed to injuries at SMHS Hospital after he was hit by a bullet in the encounter.
Dozens of employees and trainees were trapped for several hours inside the EDI building, who were later evacuated.
Employees who wished anonymity told Greater Kashmir that fighters told them to leave as they did not want to harm them.
Reports said that Indian forces cordoned off the whole area and stopped the vehicular movement on the busy road.
“It was not safe to travel on the highway; encounter was going on only a few meters away from it. We diverted the traffic to Balhama-Khunmoh road and Lasjan road,” a police officer said.



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