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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Violence revisits Valley, 1 dead in attack

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, October 19, 2012
First Published: 17:48 IST(19/10/2012) | Last Updated: 23:52 IST(19/10/2012)

Militants struck Kashmir Valley after months of calm, opening fire on an army convoy and trying to shoot their way into a four-star hotel, killing one civilian and injuring three in the process, on Friday.

The gunmen managed to get away. Later, the Lashkar-e-Taiba called a local news channel, claiming responsibility.

The ultras - numbering three to four, according to the police - fired at an army vehicle on a road in the outskirts of Srinagar. The vehicle was hit but no jawan was injured, army sources said.

They then tried to enter the hotel, frequented by high-profile guests. Bell boy Farooq Ahmad was killed in the indiscriminate firing.

The management said everyone else in the hotel, including guests, was safe.

"Our convoy was passing through and we seemed to be the target," an army official said.

However, the police said the target was the highway.

 

"Initial reports suggest the militants tried to launch an attack on the highway. They then tried to get inside the hotel but couldn't," IG, Kashmir, SM Sahai, said. 

"The men had backpacks and opened fire on the army truck. They then left their bags and ran into the hotel," said an employee who did not wish to be identified.

Sahai said the police had some leads on the presence of militants in the area and were working on them.

This is the first such attack since May, when a CRPF patrol team came under fire in Srinagar, leaving seven personnel injured.

It also comes at a time when the Valley is seeing a record number of tourists.


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