Pampore EDI siege ends after 60 hours, 2 LeT terrorists killed

12 October 2016

A gun-battle with two terrorists who barged into a government building in Jammu and Kashmir's Pampore ended today after 60 hours. Both terrorists were killed.

They were from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Indian Army said.

One terrorist was killed on Tuesday and the other was shot dead today at the seven-story Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building in the town, 15 km from Srinagar, where young Kashmiris are given vocational training.

After a search of around 60 rooms and as many bathrooms in the battered and burnt building, the Army said there was no third terrorist as suspected earlier.

"The operation was tricky and we did not want any collateral damage," an army official said, explaining the three-day operation.

Over 50 rockets, machine guns and hundreds of grenades were used against the terrorists. The Army also brought in special forces from the same unit that had carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan last month.

"The terrorists survived as long as they did because the seven story building was like a concrete bunker for them," said Major General Ashok Narola.

The terrorists were seemingly well-stocked with ammunition and supplies and prepared for a prolonged operation, which made it a tough challenge for the forces. Despite the building catching fire several times, the terrorists held out.

Classes have not been held for more than three months in the institute because of the unrest in the state that began with the killing of 22-year-old separatist leader Burhan Wani in July.

The same institute was targeted in a major attack in February. Five soldiers and a civilian were killed then while three terrorists were shot dead.

Sources said that terrorists got to the campus through boats on the River Jhelum, which flows from Kashmir into Pakistan. They entered the building apparently because they could not carry out a planned attack along the highway.

According to the police, the terrorists set sections of the building on fire to lure security forces.

Intel agencies have been warning of terror attacks in retaliation for the surgical strikes conducted by India across the Line of Control two weeks ago to target terrorist staging areas in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

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