In an audacious terror strike on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit, suspected Hizbul Mujahideen militants on Monday ambushed an Army convoy on the outskirts of the city, killing 8 jawans and injuring 14 others. Two jawans are reportedly battling for life in Srinagar.
Militants attacked the convoy at Hyderpora bypass on the Airport-Lal Chowk road, outside a private hospital this evening, the second major strike in three days.
Eight jawans were killed and 14 others sustained injuries. The bodies were taken to Badami Bagh cantonment, an Army spokesman said.
While 12 were injured in this attack, another two sustained bullet wounds in a second strike.
The militants fled on a motorcycle towards Barzulla check post. They hurled a grenade on the CRPF and police party manning the post. In the firing, CRPF Sub-Inspector Lala Ram was critically injured, while a policeman sustained injuries.
“One CRPF personnel has been injured in the militant firing near out Rambagh camp,” inspector general of CRPF Y S Yadav said.
The militants, believed to be two in number, then escaped in a waiting black Santro car, police said.
Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attack. A person Baliguddin, identifying himself as spokesperson of the outfit, called up a local news agency and said several squads have been formed and similar attacks will be carried out in the city in the future as well.
The militants opened indiscriminate firing on the convoy coming from north to south Kashmir and fled the scene in the face of the retaliation, officials said.
Army troops along with police and CRPF immediately cordoned off the whole area and launched a manhunt to nab the militants, officials said.
They said after initial heavy firing, gunshots continued for a few minutes but there were no reports of further casualties in the area.
However, half-an-hour later, firing was reported in Barzulla area, two kms away from Hyderpora on Airport-Lal Chowk road.
Today’s attack comes two days after Hizbul Mujahideen militants gunned down two policemen in the heart of Srinagar city.
The brazen attack came even as security has been beefed up across the valley in view of Prime Minister’s two-day visit starting from Tuesday. PMO sources in Delhi said that there was no change in Singh’s programme.