6 CRPF jawans die in militant attack
22 November 2002
The Times of India
Srinagar: Six Jawans were killed and nine injured in asuicide attack on a CRPF camp at Pamposh hotel in the heart of the city, by two alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, early on Friday morning. This is the first major suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir after the PDP-Congress government assumed power on November 2. The militants both heavily- armed were killed in the fierce gunbattle that followed with the security forces. The CRPF battalion housed in the hotel is to move to Gujarat on election duty within a week. A CRPF Jawan told Times News Network that the militants appeared from two sides around 6.45 am and lobbed grenades and opened indiscriminate fire, killing two Jawans and wounding 13. Four Jawans succumbed to injuries in a hospital later in the day. Claiming responsibility, LeT spokesman Abu Hazifa told a local news agency, KSP, that the attack was part of Operation Badr. The spokesman, however, claimed that the attack was carried out by four militants, of whom two returned safely. He identified one of the slain militants as Abu Youni. Elaborating on the attack, the police said one militant entered through the main gate. Constable Krishan Bhadur caught hold of the militant, who finding himself trapped, detonated a grenade blowing up himself and the CRPF Jawan. With the focus of security forces towards the main gate, another militant came from the rear side and sneaked into the kitchen and opened fire and lobbed grenades on the personnel who were having breakfast, the police said. Another Jawan died and several were injured in the firing by the militant who was, however, gunned down by the troops with the assistance of BSF personnel who rushed to the camp soon after hearing the gunshots. The police said I-cards recovered from the militants identified the duo as Sarfaraz and Akram from Uttar Pradesh. They, however, claimed that the I-cards were fake and the militants were from Pakistan. Later, the police detained six persons for questioning in connection with the attack. All the six persons are residents of houseboats in the Jhelum. The police said the six were detained as they suspected that one of the militants who stormed the camp entered from the rearside along the bank of the river. The incident led to panic throughout the city and shopkeepers along the plush Residency Road opened their shops two hours late as the police and paramilitary forces jointly carried out search operations. Senior CRPF, police and BSF officers rushed to the spot. Security around the camp has been intensified.