Bijbehara Shoot-out: Toll Reaches Three, Militants Escape


Bijbehara attack 2With one of the two critically injured BSF man succumbing to his injuries in the 15-Base Hospital in Badamibagh Srinagar, the toll in Bijbehara’s hit-and-run case has reached three. Police said five more are injured and one of them in a “pretty serious condition”.

Police said, the militants numbering between two and three have escaped and there is no trace around. “We are still working around and may-be we get a lead,” one official said.

Offering details a senior police officer said the movement of traffic got blocked in the afternoon as there was protest around Sangam area. Around 50 people, he said, were protesting and it took police almost an hour to negotiate with them. “By then, it was chaos on the road as three major convoys on way to Srinagar were stuck between Batengoo and Khanabal,” the officer said. “Police had stopped the convoys for more than 45 minutes till the road was trafficable at around 4.20 pm.”

“There were three convoys – the first was CRPF, then it was army and it was followed by an 11-vehicle convoy of BSF. The convoy had many buses carrying its members to Srinagar after they had completed their stint at home,” the police official said.

Bijbehara attack 1“It was 7th or the 8th vehicle of this convoy that was targeted by militants from a small Karewa around the hospital side,” the officer said. “There were three militants but two were actually seen.” They emptied two magazines on this bus as a result of which two BSF personnel died instantly in the bus itself. Six others also received bullets and two of them were critical. “They had fired 25-30 bullets each,” the officer, who was informed about the situation, said.

Following the attack, heavy exchange of fire was underway in the town situated on the 300-km Jammu-Srinagar Highway which continued for almost 15 minutes, according to eyewitness.

The officer said that BSF opened fire in air to create scare basically aimed at retrieving the casualties. The injured were immediately rushed to the 15-base hospital in Srinagar where one of them is reportedly no more.

“We have lost three of our men and seven others are injured,” a BSF spokesperson said in Srinagar. However, he offered no details.

BSF that was part of the active counter-insurgency in Kashmir for most of the last three decades was disengaged and replaced by the CRPF. It mans selected border belts in Jammu as well as Kashmir.

Meanwhile, militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen has claimed the responsibility of the attack.

In a statement to local news gathering agency, Hizbul Mujahideen operational spokesperson Burhan uddin said that several Indian troopers were killed in the attack carried out by a special squad of the outfit.


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