3 army men killed, 2 injured in Pampore attack
In yet another attack on Srinagar-Jammu highway, three soldiers were killed and two others injured when militants ambushed an army convoy at Kadlabal Pampore on Srinagar outskirts Saturday afternoon.
The incident happened at 4 p.m. when an army convoy was on way to Srinagar from Jammu. This is the fourth attack of its type since December last year where militants have targeted forces' convoys on the highway stretch from Bijbehara to Pampore.
Defence Spokesman in Srinagar, Rajesh Kalia, confirmed the killing of three soldiers in the attack. "We have launched a massive search operation in the area," he said.
Police sources said that two soldiers were also injured in the attack who are being treated at Army's 92-Base Hospital Srinagar.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Special DGP Law and Order, Dr S P Vaid, said that preliminary inquiry has revealed that a Pakistani militant opened fire on an army bus.
"Three soldiers were killed in the attack. Road Opening Parties (ROP) of CRPF and police didn't retaliate as the place remains crowded and there is always a fear of a civilian casualty," he said. Asked whether any specific measure would be taken to prevent further attacks on the highway, Vaid said: "Of course there will be a joint review to take some measures. Search operation is going on in the area."
Talking to reporters at the site of the incident, IGP CRPF Zulfikar Hassan said, "Militants managed to flee from the spot taking advantage of the huge traffic movement on the high way."
Army and police have launched a massive search operation which remained on till late evening.
The incident caused traffic disruption on the highway for nearly an hour. Traffic was later restored.
Police sources said an alert was already sounded while frisking was going on at various places on the highway.
Initial reports suggested that two motor cycle borne militants carried out the attack, but IGP CRPF said: "We can't say anything on that as we are collecting evidences."
Pertinently, militants this year chose Srinagar-Jammu highway to target forces. Today's attack was fourth this year.
On June 25, in deadliest attack on forces in recent years, at least eight paramilitary CRPF personnel were killed and 22 others wounded when militants rained bullets on a bus carrying the personnel at Pampore.
A look at the attacks suggests that Pampore, Bijbehara and Sangam are the most dangerous points as militants prefer these locations to target forces. On December 9 last year, police and paramilitary had laid a naka near EDI and a vehicle was asked to stop which refused, with forces opening fire. In the brief shootout, two militants were killed.
In the same month, on December 24, militants targeted police officer Irshad Ahmed at Bijbehara, leaving him seriously injured along with his two guards. Just after over a month's lull, on February 22 this year, heavily armed militants attacked CRPF convoy near EDI and then entered the building triggering 48-hour long encounter that left three militants and three special army commandos and two army captains dead.
After a gap of three months, on June 3, militants ambushed BSF convoy at Bijbehara on Srinagar-Jammu highway that left three BSF men dead and seven others injured.