October 2016 News

One Terrorist Killed, But Pampore Shootout Still On

11 October 2016
Times of India
M Saleem Pandit

Srinagar: One of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists holed up in the Entrepreneurship Development Institute hostel building in Pampore was killed by security forces on Tuesday, the second day of an unremitting gun battle that was still on when reports last came in. Two to three terrorists had taken refuge a few days ago inside the EDI hostel building at Pampore, on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, perhaps to target either Army convoys on the highway or other government installations in the area. The terrorists, according to the security agencies, had arrived at the EDI complex from the rear using a boat on the Jhelum. The Lashkar terrorists were first sighted by an institute staffer and they shot first, opening fire at 5 am on Monday. On Tuesday morning, the security forces resumed firing at the holed-up terrorists to foil any attempt by them to flee the building. However, there was no firing from the terrorists' side on Tuesday, sources said. The operation was still on when reports last came in. After entering the complex on being sighted by the institute staffer early Monday morning, the militants set a few mattresses and some furniture on fire inside a hostel room. They then started shooting at the firefighting personnel who arrived to extinguish the blaze that engulfed the sixth floor of the hostel building. However, the fire died on its own, the sources said. A senior police officer supervising the operation, however, confirmed that militants were firing at security personnel from the building and shifting position often. 'The Army used heavy weapons in the operation against them but till now only one terrorist has been killed,' he said. The officer said the security forces didn't want to take any chances and were in no hurry. 'We don't want any causalities this time. In the February encounter militants inflicted heavy causalities on the security forces when they tried to enter the building. This time we will not take any such risk,' he added. This is the second time this year that the EDI complex has come under fire. In February, terrorists had taken shelter in the main building after attacking a CRPF convoy on the highway at Pampore.