Srinagar: 8 jawans killed in Hizb strike ahead of PM’s visit Last updated on: June 24, 2013 19:58 IST

http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-srinagar-5-jawans-killed-in-hizb-strike-ahead-of-pms-visit/20130624.htm

Army personnel talking positions after a militant strike on a convoy outside Srinagar on Monday

Eight army soldiers were killed and 11 others wounded, 3 of them critically, in a militant strike on the Srinagar Muzaffarabad road Monday afternoon.

Soon after militants also struck at Barzalla, a posh uptown locality on the airport road, lobbing a grenade and opening fire at the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force convoy injuring an officer.

The twin attacks come a day before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are due to arrive in the state for a two-day visit.

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.

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Image: Army personnel running for cover after a militant strike on a convoy outside Srinagar on Monday
Photographs: Umar Ganie

 

The security had been beefed up across the summer capital Srinagar since Sunday following the Saturday’s attack in the busy business centre of Hari Singh High Street in which two cops were gunned down.

A senior police officer said militants ambushed the Baramulla bound convoy on the highway near Hyderpora Monday afternoon, firing indiscriminately from automatic weapons.

“Four army soldiers were killed on the spot and 13 others were injured who were evacuated to hospital for treatment. Another trooper succumbed in the hospital. Condition of some of the injured is critical,” the officer said.

One of the vehicles in the convoy which was targeted bore bullet marks with the windshield having been smashed in the attack.

Heavy army, paramilitary CRPF and police reinforcements were moved in the area which was immediately surrounded. Heavy firing was reported from the area.

Massive searches were on when reports last came in. Traffic on the highway was disrupted due to the attack.

Militants also struck in the Barzalla locality of the capital city where they lobbed a grenade and opened fire injuring a sub-inspector of the CRPF. He was immediately shifted to SMHS hospital for treatment.

Security forces immediately moved in the area to mount searches.

High tension gripped the capital city which had been on a high alert in view of the visit of the prime minister and to Kashmir on Tuesday.

Security forces have erected barricades all across the city and all the passing vehicles and pedestrians are being searched and frisked.

During his visit, Dr Singh will review the progress of development works and commission the Banihal-Qazigund rail tunnel billed as longest in India.

The separatists have called for a strike Tuesday against the visit.

The frontline Hizbul Mujaheedin outfit has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attacks.

 

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