SRINAGAR: In a deadly strike, the first in over three years, five CRPF personnel were killed and seven others injured in the Bemina area of upper Srinagar on Wednesday.
Two of the militants who carried out what has been described as a fidayeen attack were killed in return fire, and at least three civilians injured by bullets and grenade splinters.
Owned by the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the attack took place at around 10:45 a.m. in the grounds of the Police Public School in Bemina where CRPF personnel had been massed for deployment in the city and a group of local boys were preparing for a game of cricket.
In cricket gear and concealing weapons in sports kits, the attackers, three in number, had walked towards the gathered paramilitary men, suddenly hurling grenades and opening fire.
Five CRPF men, all from the 79th Battalion, were killed on the spot, and at least six others wounded.
The slain paramilitary men were identified as assistant sub-inspector AB Singh, and constables Subhash, Om Prakash, L Parmol and Satish Shah.
Those injured included sub-inspector Ashok Kumar, and constables Jeevan Kishore, AR Rarveen, T Bharat Bai, Goswami Yadesh, and Ram Prasad.
The civilians wounded in the shootout were identified Obaid Ahmad Dar, Muddassir Ahmad Wani, Sohail Nazir and Asif Ahmad Hajjam, all residents of Bemina.
The identity of the slain attackers had not been immediately determined, but the police said that they appeared to be teenagers.
All injured personnel and civilians were evacuated to hospital, with constable Jeevan Kishore being shifted to the SKIMS because of his serious condition
No students were present at the school as it was closed due to a general strike, but a number of boys from nearby localities had gathered in the grounds for cricket.
The director general of the police, Ashok Prasad, described the militant strike as an attack on peace.
Police and paramilitary men had immediately cordoned the area off and fanned out in the vicinity for searches for a third militant said to have been involved in the attack.
The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for todays strike in Bemina.
The spokesman of the militant group, Baleegh-ud-din, told media organisations that two of its militants had carried out a guerrilla attack on a forces camp near Bemina, and laid down their lives.
Security agencies were put on alert across the city following the incident.
The last such strike in Kashmirs summer capital was in January 7 in the citys commercial hub of Lal Chowk.
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