Gun battle erupts in Kashmir

At least three security personnel have been injured in a gun battle that erupted in Indian administered Kashmir after rebels stormed a sports complex.

    Indian paramilitaries surround the stadium

    Police said two heavily armed Kashmiri fighters on Saturday hurled grenades and forced their way into the complex in Srinagar being used as temporary barracks by the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

    "Our boys are attempting to flush them out - dead or alive," an officer of India's main paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) said.

    A paramilitary spokesman added: "Three CRPF personnel guarding the entrance to the stadium have been injured. We have completely ringed the stadium complex from the outside."

    Javed Makhtoomi, the state's inspector general of police, said security forces would resume their operations early Sunday.

    "The operations will be resumed at daybreak on Sunday as there may be more casualties if we try and oust the rebels tonight," he said.

    Complex

    Aside from the soldiers' barracks, the stadium complex houses a passport office and other federal government buildings.

    Kashmiri fighters seeking independence from Indian rule have stepped up their attacks in the run-up to the Indian Republic Day on 26 January. The day is observed as a "black day" by separatists.

    Close to the scene of fighting is the Bakshi Stadium where arrangements are under way for the main ceremonial parade to mark India's Republic Day.

     

    As a routine, the area is sealed by security forces days ahead of national days in order to keep separatist fighters out.

     

    Responsiblity

     

    Al-Mansurin, an obscure armed group, telephoned a local news agency to claim responsibility for the latest attack.

     

    The caller who identified himself as Abu Huzaifa  from said two of his group's fighters, Naeem Ahmed and Muhammad Sabir, both local Kashmiris, were fighting the "infidels" inside the complex.

    Earlier during the day, a civilian died and at least 11 people were injured when rebels tossed a grenade at a rally for municipal elections to be held in Srinagar next month after a gap of 20 years.

    Separatists oppose any elections, saying polls are no substitute for the right of Kashmiris to self-determination.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?