Two dead as IHK govt compound siege ends

SRINAGAR: The Indian army on Wednesday announced that the Pampore encounter had ended with two suspected rebels dead.

Indian Army Major General Ashok Narula briefing the media said, “Two people have been eliminated and two weapons have been recovered.”

A group of suspected rebels stormed into the premises of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in Pampore on the outskirts of Srinagar in held Kashmir (IHK) early on Monday, and took positions inside one of the buildings.

The stand off between government forces and suspected rebels stretched into its third day today.

Relaying the events of Monday morning, Narula claimed, “They were terrorists inside, it was confirmed. We cordoned the area, we got more forces and started our operation.”

He added, “It was a very tricky operation because it is a very huge building and we did not want to do any collateral damage because there were chances of civilians being inside although people had been taken out.”

Elite para commandos of the Indian army had been called in to neutralise the militants, Times of India quoted an official saying.

Security forces on Monday employed mortar shells, light machine guns and other small arms in their attempt to flush out the suspects but with no success.

Much of the building has been “reduced to a skeleton,” TOI reported, adding that many of its walls had been blown up.

The attack comes as IHK is experiencing its largest protests against Indian rule in recent years, sparked by the killing in July of a popular rebel commander by Indian soldiers.

The protests, and a sweeping military crackdown, have paralysed life in IHK.

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