All 3 militants who attacked BSF camp in Srinagar killed, one jawan dead
A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper was killed while three sustained injuries on Tuesday after militants attacked a paramilitary complex in a high-security zone close to the Srinagar airport just before daybreak, leading to an hours-long gunfight that ended after all three suspects were killed, officials said.
According to officials and sources in the state police, search and combing operations were started after three militants were neutralised. The attack began around 4am at the 182 Battalion Camp of the BSF, located in a highly sanitised area. An Indian Air Force base, a CRPF camp and an NIA office are close by, making Tuesday’s attack a worrying security breach.
“Five people have been evacuated from S.O (officers) Mess where the second terrorist was neutralised and one person from the administrative block where the third terrorist is holed up,’’ SP Vaid, the Jammu and Kashmir director general of police, earlier said confirming the death of the second militant.
Before that, inspector general Muneer Khan reported the first militant’s death in the morning.
“The residential quarters of BSF is safe,” a police source said.
Militant group Jaish e Mohammed claimed the attack on the BSF facility, which comes a little over a month after an identical incident in Pulwama on August 26 when 8 security personnel were killed by the outfit.
Sources said it was the “Afzal Guru squad” of the banned organisation which has been involved in such attacks.
The same group was also involved in one of the deadliest attack on an army installation in Uri in September 2016, in which 18 soldiers lost their lives.
The camp is located at the first entrance of the Srinagar International airport which is also an Air Force base. Sources say the militants entered the camp in army fatigue and were loaded with automatic weapons and grenades.
Two of the militants, whose bodies have been recovered, are said to be not from around the region, according to sources.
Morning flights out of the airport were cancelled, and staff and passengers were initially stopped at Humhama chowk a few kilometres before the entrance.
According to Khan, suspicious movement was noticed in the Humhama district after gunshots were heard. Firing was first reported around 4.15 am.
“The injured are stable,” said Khan.
Ruling out that the target of the militants was the Srinagar airport, Khan said some media organisations had said so without confirmation.
“The Srinagar airport is a well guarded airport and was not the target. We only delayed one of the flights from New Delhi while the rest of the airport functions were not stalled.”
Khan said the operation could have been completed quickly by using area weapons but it was avoided as the camp is surrounded by civilian areas.
While security forces initially closed the road leading up to the airport till 9 am, Khan said the facility was “secure’’.
The attack came days after unidentified gunmen killed a BSF jawan at his residence in Bandipora district.