Air services to Kashmir suspended after violence leaves 17 dead

Hundreds of passengers were forced to return to homes from the Srinagar International Airport, as several airlines cancelled their Srinagar-bound flights yesterday.

This is the first time in the 11 years since the Kargil War, air services to and from Srinagar had to be suspended with no flights scheduled over the next three days.

According to the passengers they were made to wait for several hours at the airport before cancellation of all flights till 17 September was announced.

Though no official reason has been assigned for the suspension of air services, security forces faced a huge challenge while escorting passengers and airline staff to Awantipura air base where all flight operations were shifted 10 days ago.

Flights to Srinagar were being diverted to Awantipora air base since 3 September due to the resurfacing work in progress at the only civilian airport in the state. The work is expected to be completed by 15 September.

En route to the Awantipur air base, violence erupted Pampore, yesterday which had resulted in the death of three persons.

Curfew was clamped across the entire Kashmir valley early today, after the spiraling violence took a toll of 17 people and left 45 injured yesterday.