Security forces pounded the government building in Pampore near here with mortars and blasted IEDs for the second day Tuesday to target the militants believed to be holed up there but there seems to be no early end to the operation.
Army personnel fired mortar shells at the multi-storey building of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) at Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway at regular intervals with the aim of flushing out the militants or cornering them to one side of the building, officials said here. The ultras did not fire in retaliation, they said
The operation has been now going on for 36 hours and unlikely to end before day break tomorrow. It was launched in the wee hours yesterday. Most part of the concrete building has been reduced to a skeleton as many of its walls have been blown up.
Elite Para commandos of the army have also been called in to neutralise the militants but the security personnel are not rushing in to the building to avoid casualties, the officials said.
The area around the EDI premises has been cordoned off to prevent the militants from escaping, the official said. Two to three militants stormed into the EDI complex in the wee hours yesterday and took positions inside one of the buildings.
The ultras could have entered the complex from the riverside after travelling by boat but that can only be ascertained once the operation is over, the officials said.
After getting inside the complex, the militants set on fire few mattresses inside a hostel room to attract the attention of the police and other security forces, which arrived within minutes of the smoke emanating from the building. In the initial exchange of firing, one army soldier was injured, the officials said.
The security forces yesterday used mortar shells, Light Machine Guns and other small arms to flush out the militants. Militants had targeted the EDI building in February this year as well.
Five security force personnel including two young army officers and a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in that operation which lasted 48 hours.