Three CRPF men, civilian killed in Kashmir militant attack (Third Lead)

Srinagar, Feb 20 (IANS) Three CRPF troopers and a civilian were killed and at least 10 other people including civilians injured on Saturday in a gunfight between guerrillas and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

The gunfight ensued after the militants attacked a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus on the Jammu-Srinagar highway and then entered a training institute located nearby.

“Militants attacked a CRPF bus on the Jammu-Srinagar highway near Pampore town in Pulwama district today (Saturday) evening,” a senior police officer told IANS.

“Eleven CRPF troopers travelling in the bus were injured in the attack. Three of the injured troopers identified as head constable G.D. Bhola Prasad of the 144 Battalion, constable-driver R.K. Raina of the 79 Battalion and one more succumbed to their injuries while other injured are being treated in the hospital,” he added.

After attacking the CRPF bus, the militants believed to be three in number, entered the multi-storeyed Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) building situated close to the highway when more than 150 trainees and staff members were present inside, the official said.

“Security forces surrounded the building and focused on safe evacuation of the civilians while engaging the holed-up militants in sustained exchange of gunfire. So far, 150 trainees and staff members have been safely evacuated.

“After we make sure there are no civilians inside the complex, the final assault against the holed-up militants will be launched,” the official said.

A civilian identified as Abdul Ghani Mir, a gardener at the JKEDI, was alsoinjured in the shooting and succumbed in hospital,

Meanwhile, civilian protesters took to the highway at Kadlibal in Pampore town pelting stones on the passing traffic to stop the movement on the highway.

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