Hostages freed, militants killed as siege ends | india | Hindustan Times
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Hostages freed, militants killed as siege ends

india Updated: Dec 25, 2007 12:19 IST

The nearly 48-hour siege of a mosque in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam area ended early on Tuesday after two hostages were freed and the three holed-up Hizbul Mujahideen guerrillas were gunned down, police in Srinagar said.

"All the three holed up militants were killed in the gunfight that ended late on Monday night. The two remaining civilians taken hostage by the militants were rescued safely. We are now searching the area to secure it. Window panes of the mosque were damaged in the firing," a senior police officer said.

He said that militants had begun firing at the surrounding security forces late on Monday. The fire was returned and the militants were killed in the gunfight.

The tense standoff at Palnu village in south Kashmir Kulgam district had begun early on Sunday when troops of the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and special operations group (SOG) of the state police surrounded the village on specific information about presence of militants.

After a brief exchange of fire, the militants entered the village mosque. Five civilians, who also fled towards the mosque to escape being caught in the crossfire, were held hostage.

"While three civilians came out safely yesterday, the remaining two were safely rescued late last night," the officer said.