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Pix: 2 Jaish men killed as gunfight rocks Valley

Last updated on: October 21, 2010 20:43 IST

Two Jaish men killed as gunfight rocks Valley

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Two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed in a daylong fierce gunfight with security forces on the outskirts of summer capital Srinagar on Thursday, reports Mukhtar Ahmad.

Army for the first time pressed into sniper borne helicopters to takeout the holed up militants who exchanged heavy gunfire with the cordoning troops in the Maloora village, 10 kms from capital Srinagar.


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Image: An army soldier climbs down from a residential house during the gun battle
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters
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Troops of counter insurgency Rashtriya Rifles and the police early on Thursday surrounded the village on a specific information about the presence of a group of heavily armed militants inside a house.

"As the security forces were busy searching the village, the hiding militants opened heavy fire at the cordoning troops triggering a fierce gunfight," a senior police officer said.


Image: A soldier escorts civilians to safety during the gunbattle
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters
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Two Jaish men killed as gunfight rocks Valley

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Senior security force officers had earlier sent in village elders to persuade the holed up militants to surrender, which they spurned after which a gunfight ensued.

As the gunfight started the security forces evacuated civilians and pressed into service sniper borne helicopters to pinpoint the hiding militants from air.


Image: Soldiers prepare to attack holed up militants
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Two Jaish men killed as gunfight rocks Valley

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The snipers tried to target the militants who had taken shelter in a house which was mortar blasted by the troops to eliminate the group of militants.

During the encounter one of the militants jumped out of the house hurling grenades and firing automatics at the surrounding troops.

Several journalists covering the incident had to run for safety.


Image: An explosion caused by a grande attack by a militant during the gunfight
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Two Jaish men killed as gunfight rocks Valley

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At the end of the gunfight, a senior police officer confirmed two foreign militants of the Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit had been killed, whose exact identity is being established.

A police spokesman said the group of militants had plans to carry out fidayeen attacks on security force establishments in and around Srinagar.

 


Image: A soldier escorts civilians to safety during the gunbattle
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Two Jaish men killed as gunfight rocks Valley

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As the night fell security forces called off the operation after establishing a tight cordon around the encounter site.

The operation will be resumed at the first light on Friday when the debris of the house will be cleared, according to police.


Image: Soldiers prepare to attack holed up militants
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Two Jaish men killed as gunfight rocks Valley

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A defence spokesman, however, said helicopters were not used during today's operation.

He said the helicopters flew over the village to reach the counter insurgency headquarters in nearby Shariefabad village.


Image: Soldiers prepare to attack holed up militants
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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Two Jaish men killed as gunfight rocks Valley

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Authorities early on Thursday imposed a curfew in capital Srinagar and some other towns to foil a march to city centre Lal Chowk called by the hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani as part his 'Quit Kashmir campaign'.

In other towns of the Valley, which were free from curfew, a complete shutdown was observed on Friday.


Image: A soldier fires during the gunbattle
Photographs: Umar Ganie
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