Srinagar: Five security personnel died in Jammu and Kashmir as a group of terrorists launched a post-midnight attack on a CRPF training centre in Pulwama on New Year's eve. Two terrorists have been killed. A combing operation is on for a possible third, officers said.
- Terrorists threw grenades and opened fire, trying to breach the facility
- The incident happened at around 2:10 am
- Pak-based Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed the attack: Officials
Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the attack. The group had recently suffered heavy reverses in the Valley. Four days ago, Noor Mohammad Tantray or "Chhota Noora", a top Jaish terrorist, was killed in an encounter in the same district. In November, three terrorists of the group were killed. Among them was Talhr Rasheed, the nephew of Jaish chief Masood Azhar.
The terrorists had struck around 2 am on Sunday. They threw grenades and opened fire before breaching the perimeter of the training centre of the 185 Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force in Pulwama, around 30 km from Srinagar.
An operation was launched immediately. It is not known how many CRPF personnel were posted at the station. But within minutes, reinforcements were called in. In the initial hour of shootout, a CRPF personnel, Sharief-Ud-Din Ganaie, was killed on the spot.
In the encounter that followed, three more jawans Taufail Ahmed, Rajendra Nain and PK Panda were killed and an officer Kuldeep Rai trapped inside a building died due to heart attack.
The attack took place despite a specific alert that terrorists will target the CRPF camp. The police said there was prior intelligence warning about this attack.
"There was an input from the last two-three days. They (the terrorists) were trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night," senior police officer SP Vaid was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
In a similar attack in August, eight security personnel lost their lives when terrorists targeted a district police complex in Pulwama. The three terrorists who launched the suicide attack were killed after an intense gunfight that went on for over 12 hours.
Two months later, three suicide attackers carrying a massive arsenal of guns and explosives broke into a Border Security Force (BSF) camp near the Srinagar airport before dawn and opened fire, killing one soldier.
All three terrorists were killed after nearly 10 hours of gunbattle. A unit of the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed that called itself the "Afzal Guru squad" claimed the attack.