Grenade Injures Many in Shopian, Forces Continue to Battle Militants in Pampore
SRINAGAR: Four CRPF jawans and eight civilians were wounded when suspected militants hurled a grenade at a patrol of forces in south Kashmir's Shopian Tuesday morning.
According to officials, the grenade was hurled at a party of CRPF men in Bonbazar area of Shopian, one of the congested places in the district, at around 11:30 am.
"Four CRPF jawans and eight civilians including four women were injured in the attack. The area has been cordoned and searches are on," a senior police officer said.
The police officer said the injured were shifted to a nearby hospital for treatment where their condition is reported to be stable.
The attack in south Kashmir comes at a time when the forces are fighting a group of heavily armed militants who have captured a multi-storied government building in the adjoining Pampore area.
The fighting between the suspected militants has been going on for more than 30 hours with forces using rocket launchers and rocket-propelled grenades to flush out two to three suspects holed up inside a seven storied building of Jammu Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute.
The Army and police has sealed the institute from all sides but no attempt has been made so far to storm the complex located on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway to prevent casualties. An Army soldier and a J&K Policeman have suffered injuries in the encounter so far.
"Although a team of Army's special para commandos are on a standby, we are not taking any chance which might lead to avoidable damage on our side. The institute has been surrounded and we are trying to tire them out," a top security official said.
A similar strike in February had not only damaged the main building of the institute, which trains youths and funds entrepreneurial ventures in the unemployment ridden J&K, but the forces had to take a severe toll with two Army captains, two CRPF jawans and a para commando killed in the encounter which lasted for more than 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the situation in Kashmir continues to remain tense with clashes breaking out between protesters and security forces in the capital Srinagar and Pulwama district.
Reports said forces used teargas shells to disperse a Muharram procession in old city of Srinagar today morning, sparking clashes during which at least three civilians were injured.
In Pulwama district, at least 15 civilians were injured when forces cordoned off two villages, reportedly for carrying out search operations. "Locals came out on the roads to prevent the searches, sparking clashes," witnesses said.
(Photograph Basit Zargar)