2 soldiers killed in Srinagar militant attack

In a hit and run militant attack, two soldiers of Army were killed in HMT area of Srinagar on Thursday afternoon, the attackers also decamped with the rifle of a killed soldier.

The attack took place at Aban Shah Chowk HMT, Khushipora, at around 2 pm when militants numbering between two to three opened fire on a Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of Army, reports said.

The site of the incident is less than kilometre away from the headquarters of counter-insurgency Kilo Force.

The killed soldiers belonged to the Territorial Army and worked under Kilo Force. They were identified as sepoy Rattan Singh of 163 TA and sepoy Yaish Deshmuk of 101 TA.

“The soldiers were from the Territorial Army. After the attack they (militants) boarded a running Maruti vehicle and fled from the spot,” General Officer Commanding Kilo Force, Major General H S Sahai told the Greater Kashmir. “One rifle is missing and we are looking into that.”

The senior Army General said that operation to track down the militants was underway.

“Our soldiers did not open fire as it would have resulted in civilian casualties,” he said.

Immediately after the militant attack, more police, CRPF, and Army personnel rushed to the area and launched a search operation to track down the militants responsible for the attack. Top security officials also visited the area.

The incident led to panic in the entire area while security in the city was beefed up. In the city, joint parties of police and paramilitary forces were seen carrying out intense checking of vehicles. Additional barricades were also erected at some places.

Police sources said that the checking was part of operation being carried out to track the militants.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said that two soldiers were injured in the attack who succumbed leter. “We are ascertaining the facts. It is being said that there were three militants in the car, two could be foreign militants and one local,” he said. “There is movement of LeT and Jaish here and we will identify the group behind the attack by evening as we are analysing the CCTV footage.”

Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia in a statement said that militants fired at Quick Reaction Team of Army in Aban Shah Chowk, HMT, Khushipora, Srinagar Thursday afternoon. “Being a crowded area, troops exercised restraint to avoid any civilian casualties and collateral damage,” he said.