Srinagar: Terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp in the heart of Srinagar, which left five CRPF personnel dead and seven injured. Two terrorists, who were part of a fidayeen squad that carried out the attack were also killed in the gunbattle.
The attack on Wednesday morning in Belima, Srinagar caught the security forces unawares resulting in a high number of casualties. Union Home Secretary RK Singh said that the terrorists could have come from across the border, hinting at Pakistan.
"Some boys were playing cricket and CRPF personnel were on standby. These terrorists took AK47 out and started firing. Both the terrorists have been killed. We have lost 5 men, 5 are injured but out of danger. Three civilians have been injured and the terrorists seem to be from across the border, not locals," Singh said.
While the bodies of two suspected terrorists have been recovered, two others, suspected to have been involved in the attack, may have escaped. The attack at the camp in Bemina area took place when the terrorists disguised as cricket players, carrying playing kits, which contained weapons, started firing at the security personnel at 10:45 am.
The terrorists tried to storm the camp and a school nearby but were shot dead in retaliatory fire. The entire area was cordoned off and a manhunt launched to apprehend and neutralise the other terrorists who may have helped the group in carrying out the brazen attack, the first in the Jammu and Kashmir capital since January 2010 when another CRPF camp was attacked in Lal Chowk area.
CRPF Director General Pranay Sahay is on his way to Srinagar to take stock of the situation. There was a bandh in Srinagar to protest against the hanging of against Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru due to which the school was closed, averting a major tragedy.
However, the audacity of the attack caught the CRPF personnel off guard as the state has not seen much terror activity over the last few years. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah made a statement in the state Assembly even as the gunfight was on.
"Today five CRPF jawans were killed and four to five were injured in the fidayeen attack at a CRPF camp in Srinagar at 10:45 am," said Omar. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti said violence was not going to solve anything.
"We condemn this attack," said Mehbooba. National Conference chief and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah called for the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from Srinagar. "We have been saying Special Powers Act is needed only at borders. This is a part of the game we have to play, our enemies will continue to do this. I have seen worst than this, we will face them. The Special Powers Act will have to go," said Abdullah.
The law and order was handed over to Jammu and Kashmir Police as the situation showed signs of improvement. However, in the last few weeks CRPF had been asked to help the police in maintaining law and order following the protests over Guru's execution.