BSF camp near Srinagar Airport attacked; 3 fidayeen, ASI killed


SRINAGAR, Security forces foiled a pre-dawn attempt by the Jaish-e-Mohammed to storm a BSF camp near the high-security Srinagar airport today, killing all three militants in an operation that also claimed the life of an ASI of the force, police said.
Police said the three terrorists who attacked the BSF camp had been “neutralised”.
“We are carrying out search operations inside the premises to rule out the possibility of planting of explosives,” they said.
BSF Assistant Sub-Inspector B K Yadav, 50, was killed and three jawans injured when the militants entered the BSF battalion headquarters at Gogoland, adjacent to the airport.
Officials in the know of developments said there was prior intelligence that a Jaish-e-Mohammed operative, identified as ‘Noora Trali’, had brought in a suicide squad into the city.
The old airfield, being manned by the Indian Air Force, is also located in the area.
Civilian air operations, which were suspended for nearly three hours in the morning, resumed at 10 am. “I personally went to the airport and ensured that the public does not face any problems in catching the aircraft,” a police officer said.
Piecing together the chain of events, police said militants entered the BSF’s 182 battalion headquarters and started firing in all directions.
Three BSF jawans were injured in the beginning of the attack and one militant killed in the retaliatory fire, a police official said. After this, the two remaining militants moved in different directions and took shelter in different buildings before being killed by security forces.
Yadav’s body was recovered during the mopping up operations.
The jawan, who joined the border guarding force in 1987, hailed from Bhagalpur in Bihar.
The 182 battalion is entrusted with the security of the runway of the Srinagar airport.
Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Pakistan-based terror outfit militant outfit, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
A caller identifying himself as a spokesman of the outfit told local news gathering agencies that Jaish militants had carried out the attack.
Adjacent to the camp is the old Srinagar air field which is been run by the Indian Air Force. The area also houses training centres of the BSF and CRPF. Schools in the vicinity of the airport have been closed.
While addressing a press conference after eliminating the three fidayeen, Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Muneer Ahmad Khan, flanked by the IG BSF Sonali Mishra, said that the Fidayeen entered the BSF camp by cutting the fence between Friends Colony and Gogoland. It may be mentioned here that many top former bureaucrats, police officials and politicians live in Friends Colony, which is regarded as high security area.
“They cut the fence and taking advantage of darkness entered administrative block and GOs Mess. One of them was eliminated outside the building. They were wearing Army uniform and two of them were later killed in a brief gun fight”, said Khan.
The IGP said the operation was a quality example of coordination between the various security agencies. “The operation was delayed to ensure zero collateral damage as there are residential houses near the camp. The operation which started at 4 am ended at 1 pm,” he said.
Khan said that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) is responsible for the attack. “The group is from JeM and they have taken responsibility as well”, he said.
“They had infiltrated in July-August from Shakkarpur in Jammu. Three of them were killed in Pulwama when they attack Police Lines last month. They are now left with 6-7 members and we are looking for them and we will eliminate them”, he said.