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20-hour Srinagar encounter ends; 2 militants killed

Last updated on: January 7, 2010 12:58 IST

Image: Policemen prepare to launch an assault on the hotel
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters

The 20-hour gunfight between militants and security forces came to an end on Thursday when the forces gunned down the two militants holed up in a hotel at Lal Chowk in Srinagar.

"The two militants have been killed," Inspector General, Kashmir Zone, Farooq Ahmad told

The forces, comprising policemen, paramilitary forces and Central Reserve Police Force troopers, stormed the hotel building on Thursday morning and gunned down the two militants.

Text: Mukhtar Ahmad

CRPF trooper injured

Image: Locals were evacuated from the congested area to avoid collateral damage
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters

Earlier, the forces gained control over the ground and first floor of the hotel and continued the fierce gunfight with the holed up militants.

A CRPF trooper as well as a civilian, who was being evacuated from the hotel, was injured during the encounter.

'The operation is over from our end'

Image: The police cordon off the area
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters

A fire also broke out at the hotel, and the police evacuated over a dozen people from adjacent buildings. Several fire tenders have reached the area.

"The operation is over from our end. We still have to clear the area and sanitise the hotel," said a senior official.

Jamiat ul-Mujahedin responsible

Image: A policeman lifts the body of a slain colleague during the encounter on Wednesday
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters

Militant outfit Jamiat ul-Mujahedin had claimed responsibility for the fidayeen (suicide bomber) attack.

The attack began on Wednesday afternoon, after two fidayeen militants hurled grenades and started firing from their automatic weapons at a CRPF camp and a passing police vehicle, at Lal Chowk.

Two persons including a policeman were killed in the attack and eight civilians and a CRPF trooper were wounded.