Srinagar, Aug 26 :Â Eight security force personnel and three militants were killed and five other jawans injured in an 18-hour long encounter which triggered after a fidayeen attack on District Police Lines (DPL) in south Kashmir district of Pulwama in the wee hours today.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack, while former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah cancelled his travel programme on historic Mughal road, passing through south Kashmir.
Meanwhile, massive clashes erupted between protestors and security forces at many places in Pulwama, where mobile internet service of all cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), has been suspended since early this morning as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of any rumours.
A CRPF spokesperson told UNI that the fidayeen group stormed into DPL Pulwama around 0345 hrs after lobbing grenades and resorted to heavy firing on security guards.
He said several security force personnel were injured in the attack.
The injured were immediately taken to a local hospital, where one of them, identified as police constable Imtiyaz Ahmad Sheikh, succumbed.
The other injured were later referred to 92 Army Base Hospital in Srinagar. But, a Constable of 183 battalion, identified as Jaswant Singh, resident of Gurugram, Haryana and Head Constable of 182 battalion of CRPF, Dhanawade Ravindra Baban, resident of Satara, Maharashtra, succumbed, he said.
The heavily-armed militants later entered a building in C block in the DPL, he said.
He said two militants were killed in the exchange of fire, adding bodies of two Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel, who were missing, were recovered from the C block.
He said that two more CRPF personnel and a policeman succumbed to injuries this evening at the Army hospital.
Official sources said that one more militant holdup in the E block was killed by the security forces.
This was the first fidayeen attack after security forces launched â€˜operation all outâ€™ against militants in Kashmir Valley.
However, in June this year CRPF foiled a fidayeen attack on Sumbal, Bandipora camp by killing four militants.
This month, security forces killed 23 militants, including seven infiltrators, in the Kashmir valley. However, six security personnel and seven civilians also lost their lives during the period. (News Agency)