The 56-hour gunbattle between security forces and militants holed up in a government building at Pampore on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway ended this afternoon with both the ultras hiding there shot dead.
As there were reports of two to three militants present in the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) complex, the security forces had to search all the 50 rooms of the building before calling off the operation, an army official said.
“We have recovered bodies of two militants and the search operation at the EDI building in Pampore has been almost completed,” the army official said.
While one militant was killed yesterday evening, the other militant was shot dead by the security forces today, the official said.
The official said details about the slain militants were being ascertained but prima facie there were indications that they belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Security forces pounded the EDI building since Monday after the militants barged inside the complex with the aim of engaging the law enforcing agencies.
The operation, which lasted more than 56 hours, has reduced the multi-storey building to a skeleton after many of its walls were blown up.
Elite Para commandos of the army have were also called in to neutralise the militants, the official said.
The militants had stormed into the EDI complex in the wee hours of Monday and took positions inside one of the buildings.
The ultras could have entered the complex from the riverside but that is yet to be ascertained, the official 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.
The official said the aim of the militants was to cause casualties among the security forces and prolong the stand off as long as they could.
In the initial exchange of firing, one army soldier was injured, the official said.
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.