Fidayeen kill five CRPF men.
IN THE first suicide attack in three years in Srinagar, two militants disguised as cricket players attacked CRPF men at a playground on Wednesday at Bemina crossing, 5 km north of city centre Lal Chowk, killing five paramilitary personnel and injuring six others.
The two fidayeen were eliminated after a fierce 15- minute gun battle.
According to a Central Reserve Police Force CRPF) officer, around 11 am, the militants appeared at the playground of Police Public School, adjacent to the force's 73rd battalion, masquerading as cricket players.
" They remained at the ground for some time and mingled with cricket playing youths. Then they opened fire on the CRPF jawans who were preparing to go for law and order duty. All the jawans there were of 73rd battalion," said CRPF inspector general V. S Yadav. He said the militants didn't attack the camp.
The officer said the militants attacked the CRPF personnel with AK- 47 rifles and grenade launchers.
They had brought these weapons in sports kits which they opened at the ground." " Two AK- 47 rifles, five Ak magazines, six AK rounds, two Chinese pistols, two pistol rounds, one UBGL, three UBGL grenades and four hand grenades were recovered from the encounter site," a police spokesman said.
Initially a caller claiming to be the spokesperson of Hizbul Mujahideen called local news agencies and claimed responsibility for the attack but later withdrew it. DIG ( central Kashmir) Afadul Mujataba said the attack had a signature of Lashker- e- Tayyeba.
The CRPF men killed in the attack have been identified as assistant sub- inspector A. B Singh of Ujjan, Madhya Pradesh, constable Om Prakash ( Sehore, MP), constable L. Perumal Madurai, Tamil Nadu), constable Subhash ( Ranchi, Jaharkand) and constable Satish Shah ( Mandya, Karnataka).
Police sources said the youths playing cricket were locals, and no student or teacher was present at the spot as the school was closed in response to a strike call given by separatists.
" Whenever the school is closed, youngsters of the locality usually scale the iron- wall and play cricket in the school compound," said a police officer requesting anonymity. He said preliminary investigations revealed that the militants, too, had scaled this wall and mixed with the cricketers.
Four youths were also among the injured.
Mudasir Ahmad, 25, was playing cricket with his friends when the playground suddenly turned into a battleground.
" I was playing in the ground and all of a sudden there was firing from every side... I felt I had been hit by bullets and I fell down. I stood up again and ran towards the road and entered my locality. They moved me to hospital," he said. " Here in hospital, I'm told that I have received splinters in my head, foot and back. I don't know how the attack took place.
All I know is there was firing all around and I thought I would not live," Mudasir said.
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