A group of heavily armed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists stormed the highly secured Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) training facility in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday, and killed five soldiers, including an officer, while injuring three others. Two holed-up terrorists have been neutralised so far.The outfit has claimed the responsibility for the attack. A JeM spokesman called up local news agencies to stake the claim. He also ridiculed the Operation All Out, launched by the security forces earlier this year to eliminate terrorists.The incident took place at 2 am. A group of terrorists cut the barbed wire fence of the 185th CRPF battalion, by the isolated hillside. They then lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately. Three soldiers were injured after the terrorists stormed the facility and took refuge inside one of the three blocks to engage the troops.Security forces immediately rushed in reinforcements to track down the holed-up terrorists and rescue the soldiers trapped inside the training facility.Several people were rescued before the forces took on the terrorists inside the facility. Fierce gunfight between the two sides continued throughout the day. Five CRPF soldiers, including an inspector-rank officer, were killed and three others were injured in the gunfight. Four of them died due to gunshot wounds and another one died of a cardiac arrest during evacuation. Two terrorists were also neutralised and efforts are on to neutralise other terrorists hiding in the facility.”We have recovered bodies of two terrorists. When the room intervention (room by room sanitising operation) was on to retrieve the third body, security forces came under heavy fire from the hiding terrorists. The exchange of fire is currently on,” said Rajesh Yadav, CRPF spokesman for Kashmir.The attack comes days after JeM vowed to avenge the killing of its midget chief, Noor Mohammad Tantray alias Noor Trali, by security forces in the Samboora village of Pulwama district.”I think the inputs had been coming for the last two-three days. They had been trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night. The challenge has always been there but as long as our neighbour (Pakistan) keeps sending people like this, my police, security forces, and the people of Kashmir have to go through this. This is unfortunate,” said Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, Director General of Police.Situated on a hillock, the 185th battalion CRPF camp is a huge complex used as a training facility for jawans and officers inducted for counter-insurgency purposes. The facility also houses the police component. The complex consists of an office and administrative block, residential quarters, and a control room.”The terrorists took shelter in the quarter block. There was no hostage-like situation. Of the four soldiers, one each is from Kashmir and Rajouri district of Jammu. Two others are from Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh,” Yadav said.Calling the terrorist act dastardly, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said violence has taken a heavy toll on the society in the state, in terms of death and destruction, tearing apart of social fabric, massive economic, academic, and social losses, besides the irreparable loss of human lives.The terrorist attack on CRPF facility comes almost three months after the security forces repulsed a Pathankot-type terror attack and killed three JeM terrorists, soon after they stormed a highly fortified Border Security Force (BSF) camp neighbouring the Srinagar International Airport and the Air Force Station on October 3.
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