Twin Terror Strikes In Valley Kill Six16 March 2010
The Economic Times
Srinagar: Terrorists on Tuesday attacked downtown Srinagar and Sopore, killing three civilians and three jawans and injuring eight, three of them securitymen. Three terrorists fired from a close range using automatic weapons at a Central Reserve Police Force posse in the main business hub of Lal Chowk here, when the area was bustling with shoppers in the morning. A shop worker was killed and another injured civilian died in the hospital later. The CRPF personnel killed were from the 132 battalion and were identified as constable Basant Kumar and head constable Omkar Ram. Three civilians and two jawans were injured in the attack, the second in the city in three days. Reports said it was a quick hit-and-run assault and within seconds, there were CRPF men and civilians on the road in a pool of blood. All the survivors are critical and and have been shifted to SKIMS. Panic gripped the area and people, mostly shoppers, were seen running for cover when they heard gunshots. Shopkeepers downed their shutters and unattended vehicles remained parked on the deserted roads for hours. The area was cordoned off for searches but the terrorists had already fled in the tension and confusion that gripped the busy business centre. No group owned up the responsibility for the Srinagar attack, which comes after a grenade explosion Sunday killed a paramilitary trooper and left five injured. The grenade attack was claimed by Save Kashmir Movement militant outfit, which is believed to be a joint brigade of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen terror groups. The attacks were carried out despite massive deployments of the security forces. Cops and paramilitary do resort to surprise checks in the markets, especially Lal Chowk. It was one such check that police detained a young man from Doda Noor Hussain, who, according to police was carrying a pistol. In the evening, almost in the same fashion, terrorists attacked a posse of police’s Special Operations Group in the Sopore bus stand killing a special police official Asif Hussain and a civilian Tanveer Ahmad. Five civilians and another SOG man were injured in the attack. Kashmir, has been seeing fall in terrorist violence but officials say a lot of infiltration took place last year. “We had low level of militancy last year because infiltration was controlled the previous year,” chief minister Omar Abdullah told the state legislature. “Since lot of infiltration took place last year, we may have a troubled times this year.” Even a senior BSF officer on Tuesday said there are desperate attempts from the across LoC to push in more militants. Lal Chowk, which lies in the heart of the city, has been at the centre of 20-year-old armed separatist insurgency in the Kashmir Valley. The attack is the latest in the surge of violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Security forces across the Kashmir Valley have been put on high alert in the wake of the renewed guerrilla activities in recent days.