Biggest militant attack since Pulwama: 5 CRPF men killed, SHO critically injured

Biggest militant attack since Pulwama: 5 CRPF men killed, SHO critically injured

Anantnag: Five CRPF men, two of them Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASIs), and an unidentified militant were among six people killed during an attack carried out by militants on a deployment of forces here in main town Anantnag on Wednesday evening.
A Station House Officer (SHO) of police, two CRPF personnel, and a civilian lady were among four others injured during the attack.
A doctor at Anantnag district hospital told Kashmir Reader that the SHO, Arshid Khan, was shot in the chest and was immediately evacuated to Srinagar.
“We sent him to the army base hospital in Srinagar along with the two CRPF personnel. The SHO, however, was in a critical condition,” the doctor said.
A police source told Kashmir Reader that Khan was being evacuated to Delhi for treatment. “He will be airlifted any minute now,” the police source said.
The attack took place near Government Women’s College, at about 4:45 PM, along the busy Khannabal-Pahalgam (KP) road.
A senior police official said that the militants, apparently boarding a private vehicle, disembarked at the spot and opened indiscriminate fire at the CRPF men deployed along the road.
“They killed five CRPF men on spot while the others exchanged fire with them,” the official said. The official said that SHO Khan was attending a seminar at the nearby Government Women’s College and rushed to the spot as gunfire rattled the area.
“He was unfortunately shot at during the standoff with one of the militants. The militant was also killed in the exchange of fire which continued for several minutes,” he said.
While the identity of the militant is yet to be ascertained, “for he looks like a foreigner,” the slain CRPF men were identified as ASI Neeru Sharma, ASI Ramesh Kumar, Constable Satender Kumar, Constable MK Khushwaha, and Constable Mahesh Kumar.
“Two other CRPF men are also being treated at army’s base hospital in Srinagar,” the police official said.
Following the attack, the whole area was cordoned off and a contingent of government forces reached the area. “We believe another militant might be holed up in the area. We are trying to establish contact,” the police official said.
All roads leading to the area were barricaded as forces conducted searches in the area while the authorities snapped mobile internet services in entire Anantnag district.
The cordon was still intact while this report was being filed.
The attack today is the biggest since the Pulwama attack of February 14, when a suicide bomber killed more than 40 CRPF personnel. Since then, government forces have been on offensive and have conducted more than 17 successful anti-militancy operations in the last month or so.
More than 25 militants were killed in the month of May and it was being speculated that militancy in south Kashmir was at its lowest in the past few years.
Little-known outfit Al-Umer Mujahideen claimed responsibility of today’s attack in a statement sent to a local news agency and said that their men were safe after the attack.