Militants Ambush BSF Convoy, Jammu Highway Closed

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Militants Trapped Near Qazigund; 2 Civilians, 2 Security Personnel Injured

Srinagar: An ambush on a Border Security Force (BSF) convoy on Thursday set off a fierce encounter between militants and government forces in South Kashmir’s Qazigund area leaving two civilians and two security personnel injured.

An official told PTI that the convoy was headed for Srinagar from Jammu.

Police officials said the militants, believed to be two in number, took shelter inside a multi-storey building “forcing the security forces to slow down the operation”.

According to officials, militants on Thursday afternoon attacked a Srinagar bound BSF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway near Malpora in the Qazigund area. Though no injuries were reported in the attack, swift cordon and search operation (CASO) by army, police and CRPF led to the militants being trapped in the village.

“#Terrorists fired upon BSF convey at NHW #Kulgam. No injury reported. However, terrorists trapped. EOF on. #Reinforcement reached. Senior officers of Police, CRPF & Army on the spot: IGP Kashmir,” Kashmir Police zone posted on its official Twitter handle.

The officials further said that the militants took shelter in a huge building in Mir Bazar area and engaged the joint team in a fierce firefight.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar and General Officer Commanding of Victor Force, Major General Rashim Bali reached the gunfight site in Mir Bazar in the evening as the exchange of fire between militants and joint forces intensified.

Quoting IGP Kashmir, a police spokesperson posted on its official Twitter handle “#KulgamEncounterUpdate: Two trapped #terrorists of LeT still alive. Exchange of fire on. 2 SFs personnel & 2 civilians #injured from terrorists fire. Taking all #precautions for lesser #collateral damage as target building is huge one,”

According to the reports, in the initial exchange of gunfire with the holed-up militants a CRPF constable identified as Umesh Kumar of 46 battalion was injured. Another security personal was also reportedly injured in the ongoing encounter.

Besides, two youth identified as Sahil Yaqoob Bhat of Anantnag and Shahid Farooq Sheikh of Kulgam were also injured when the area was witnessing heavy exchange of fire. Bhat, according to the reports has received a bullet injury in lower abdomen and was being treated at the GMC, while Sheikh has received bullet injury in his thigh and is stable

The encounter also led to the suspension of vehicular traffic on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway.

Late night reports said that the joint team have installed lights and tightened cordon around the area to foil any attempts by militants to escape the military dragnet.

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