Home India News Intense firing in Lal Chowk as standoff continues

Intense firing in Lal Chowk as standoff continues


Srinagar : An exchange of firing at dawn Thursday broke the brief lull in Lal Chowk as security forces prepared to launch an assault on the hotel building in Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar where two terrorists are holed up.

Firing intensified at the break of dawn as police and CRPF troopers were preparing to launch an assault on the hotel building to neutralize the two holed up militants of the Jamiat-ul-Mujaheedin outfit which claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack in the city centre, the commercial hub of Srinagar started when two terrorists hurled grenades and opened heavy fire from their automatic weapons at paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers guarding a camp Wednesday afternoon.

At least one policeman and one civilian died and nine people were injured.

“We have fully encircled the hotel building to take out the holed up militants,” a senior police officer said.

The security forces suspended the operation as darkness enveloped the area Wednesday evening.

“This is a highly congested area and we don’t want any collateral damage,” the officer added.

Lal Chowk has witnessed several such attacks in the over 20-year-long militancy. It is thronged by thousands of people everyday.

Authorities had a difficult time Wednesday evacuating the wounded and those trapped in the area.

“The final assault on the hotel building will be launched any time,” the police officer said.

This is the first terrorist attack after two years in the Kashmir valley and has come at a time when the state government has been claiming a sharp decline in violence here.