Kashmir: Pampore siege ends after 56 hours, 2 militants dead

The multi-storey building, which was attacked in February in a similar operation, suffered heavy damage in the three-day encounter.? Photograph:( AFP )

WION Srinagar India Oct 12, 2016, 06.04 AM (IST)

In a review meeting of the border security situation, interior minister Rajnath Singh met senior defence officials, including defence minister, national security advisor and intelligence bureau chief in the capital today. 

They discussed fresh intelligence on the rise in infiltration bids from across the Line of Control and the movement along the Rajasthan border after forces killed two terrorists in Pampore district in a three-day security operation. 

A gun battle between the security forces and militants holed up in a government building in Pampore, Kashmir ended after 56 hours with two armed militants being shot dead. 

The army searched all 50 rooms of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) complex before calling off the operation. 

One militant was killed on Tuesday evening and the other was shot dead by the security forces today, an army official said. 

New Delhi suspects the militants to be Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives. LeT, an outlawed militant group headed by Hafiz Saeed, is believed to have terror camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Indian media reports suggested the militants were planning to stage attacks on Indian Army installations in Kashmir.

According to reports, the militants entered from the rear of the government building early on Monday morning. The gunmen, who were first sighted by a staffer at the building, opened fire at 5 am.

Indian security forces soon rounded the building and "used heavy weapons" to end the days-long siege, a senior police officer supervising the operation told The Times of India.

Elite Para commandos of the army were also called in to neutralise the militants, the official said. One army soldier was also injured in the initial exchange of fire, an official said. 

On Wednesday, the forces entered the building to flush out the lone surviving militant despite being initially hesitant to do so. They were wary because a similar operation in February had resulted in the loss of five security personnel.

Militants had assailed the same building, which is otherwise used to provide vocational training to Kashmiris, in February. 

The operation has reduced the multi-storey building to a skeleton after many of its walls were blown up.