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.
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.