Srinagar's market hub Lal Chowk turned into a war zone this afternoon when two suspected fidayeen (suicide mission) militants fired at a CRPF picket and then hurled a grenade before entering into unknown building adjoining the area. It's after two years that militants carried suicide attack in Srinagar. Police are not confirming any casualty at this point of time.
Eyewitnesses said they heard two fire shots followed by a bang of an exploding grenade. "After two shots were fired unknown gunmen, we saw CRPF personnel rushing in all direction. In the chaos, we heard a band of a grenade," said an eyewitness.
HT correspondent at the spot witnessed smoke billowing from two lanes opposite to each other near Pladium cinema, now occupied by CRPF personnel. There were constant bursts of bullets from both sides. Police is bringing concertina wires, indicating the encounter will be a long one. They have cleared the site of civilian population.
Police suspect two militants are hiding inside two different locations. "We suspect militants are hiding inside Hotel Punjab. But it's confusing. We cannot confirm anything," said DSP Imran Farooq.
Sketchy reports suggest one-security personnel have died in the incident, one five-year-old sustained bullet injuries and grenade splinters hit NEWS 25 cameraman. No official source is confirming it.
Several people were injured in the attack but no source is confirming on their number.
Since last evening police had beefed up security in Srinagar after intelligence reports on high profile attack. Last fidayeen attack was carried on November 11, 2007 when militants made their entry into a hotel occupied by CRPF on the banks of the Dal Lake.