Five CRPF men killed in Srinagar as 3-year lull in attacks ends


Locals said the attack took place around 10.45 am and firing stopped after half-an-hour. "First we heard some explosions and then firing started from all directions. After some time, many boys who were playing cricket at the police public school came out from the ground and took shelter in the neighboring locality, some of them had suffered injuries,'' said Shabir Ahmad, who lives close to the school.

"On hearing gun shots, we rushed towards the nearby residential colony. I was bleeding when I came out from the ground. Later, locals took me and my other injured friends to hospital," said Mudasir Ahmad Wani, who was playing cricket and was hit by splinters.

Fidayeen militants had last launched an attack in the Valley on January 6, 2010, targeting the CRPF in Srinagar's business area of Lal Chowk. Two militants and two security force personnel were killed in that attack which lasted 22 hours.

Security sources said that intelligence agencies had warned of a big militant strike in the city after the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. There were also intelligence inputs that four militants had sneaked into the city to attack security forces. A high alert was issued across the Valley after Wednesday's attack.

In the Sadipora Idgah locality, locals said CRPF jawans opened fire on Altaf Ahmad Wani when he was on his way home. "It was a revenge killing by the CRPF men. Altaf was a poor labourer and father of three daughters and was killed without any reason or provocation outside his house," said his neighbor Javid Ahmad.

There were no protests going on in Sadipora when CRPF men opened fire there, locals said.

CRPF IG Yadav, however, said the civilian was killed when CRPF men who were taking injured jawans to hospital were encircled and stones hurled at them by protestors. "Our jawans fired in self-defence,'' he said.

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