Kashmir gunbattle ends, two militants killed

Srinagar, July 30:

Two militants who fought a day-long gunbattle with security forces were killed today ending an intense clash in Srinagar, police said. The fighting, which started yesterday afternoon, has also left two security force personnel dead and 21 others injured — seven news cameramen and photographers, six security force personnel and eight civilians. “One of the cameramen is critical,” a doctor at the main hospital in Srinagar said. “We have killed both the militants who had barricaded themselves inside a hotel and a shopping complex,” a spokesman for Border Security Force, Manhas, who uses one name, told reporters. Firing had intensified early today around dawn when troops targeted the two buildings where they suspected the militants were hiding out.

The fighting took place near Srinagar’s Lal Chowk — Kashmir’s main commercial hub — and the scene of many such clashes. “Both sides were exchanging fire and grenades,” a police officer said. The clashes broke out when the militants attacked a paramilitary bunker with rifle fire and a grenade, sparking panic. The militants later barricaded themselves inside a shopping complex and a hotel, and exchanged constant heavy fire throughout the night with security forces.