Five jawans were killed on Wednesday when two Islamic terrorists stormed into a CRPF camp near a school in Bemina area in the heart of the city in the first suicide attack in Kashmir in three years in which the terrorists came from Pakistan.
The two ‘fidayeens'(suicide militants), who entered the Police Public School ground in the guise of playing cricket, were eliminated during a 30-minute gunbattle following the terror attack in which 18 people–15 jawans and three civilians–were also injured. Five jawans and the three civilians were out of danger, officials said.
A pro-Pakistan militant group Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility and threatened to repeat the attacks in future.
“Prima facie the terrorists don’t appear to be local but from across the border and first impressions are that they are possibly from Pakistan,” Union home secretary RK Singh said in New Delhi.
In Srinagar, a spokesman from the Hizbul Mujahideen group called a local news agency to claim responsibility for the attack that began at 10:45 am and threatened more such attacks in the future.
“It was a guerrilla attack carried out by a special squad formed for the purpose,” Hizb spokesman Baleeguddin said in a telephonic call to the news agency.
Looking like other boys playing cricket at the school ground, the militants removed their jackets after they entered the field, lobbed several grenades and fired indiscriminately from their AK-47s concealed in their kits to inflict the casualities before they were killed in the gunbattle.
“Five jawans have been martyred and seven(jawans) have been injured,” IGP(Kashmir) Abdul Gani Mir told reporters at the scene of attack.
The school was luckily closed due to strike called by separatists in support of their demand for return of mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru.
The CRPF camp at Bemina is surrounded by the Police Public School and many government buildings.
“There is a ground for Police Public School in Pirampura police station. Now some boys were playing cricket there. The CRPF jawans deployed in the adjascent area were in the standby,” Singh said, adding two terrorists carrying kit bags came, took out AK-47s and started firing and lobbed hand grenades.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told the state Assembly the strike was a ‘fidayeen’ attack.
Today’s incident is the first suicide attack in Kashmir in the last three years with the last such attack having taken place in January 2010.