Seven Securitymen Killed As 27-hour Gunbattle Comes To An End In Srinagar
5 October 2006
The Indian Express
Srinagar: The gunbattle between militants and securitymen in the heart of Srinagar finally came to an end today, 27 hours after it began, claiming the lives of seven securitymen, a civilian and two militants. J&K DGP Gopal Sharma, addressing the press after the Lal Chowk encounter, called it a 'successful operation', saying securitymen could have ended the gunfight much earlier but had to exercise great restraint to avoid any collateral damage. This morning, one of the the two militants holed up in a hotel tried to escape but was spotted by securitymen as he sneaked out of a window. As he jumped and began firing, the securitymen retaliated. He had nearly cleared an iron railing when one of the bullets hit him in the thigh. He tried to limp away but was cut down by a hail of bullets. Srinagar SSP Afad-ul-Mujtaba said the assault team stormed the hotel as soon as one of the militants jumped from the window. To confuse the securitymen, the militant who was the last to die had donned the uniform of a policeman he had killed yesterday after entering the hotel. The Lal Chowk area is the busiest in Srinagar. 'The militants choose Lal Chowk deliberately. They know the media will be there. In a commercial hub such as this, security forces face the challenge of avoiding collateral damage,' said an Intelligence official. Police officials rejected the Al Mansoorian claim that three militants had carried out the attack and that one of them had managed to escape.