In a fierce encounter with the militants in Chinore on the outskirts of Jammu, the Army managed to gun down two out of the three militants holed up inside a house, with efforts on to eliminate the last one. Reports further said that four of the six family members, who are being held hostage in the house by the militants, have been rescued. The police said they are trying to rescue the remaining two hostsges from the clutches of the terrorists. Among those rescued are a woman and three children. The police sources however also revealed that the millitants demanded a safe passage in return of the release of hostaged children.
The militants, holed up in a house in Chinore on the outskirts of this city, took six civilians hostage on Wednesday morning. The police said they were trying to rescue the two remaining hostages before launching an assault on the militants.
The police said three militants had crossed into Jammu and Kashmir from the Kanachak sector of the border with Pakistan on Tuesday morning. They were intercepted at the police check post of Chinore on Wednesday morning, around 20 km north from the centre of Jammu.
The militants, dressed in police uniforms and carrying AK-47 assault rifles, shot dead a junior commissioned officer and then hijacked a three-wheeler. They then fired indiscriminately killing Shabeet Hussain, a milkman, and motorcyclist Naseeb Singh before killing the three-wheeler driver, Vijay Kumar, said the police.
The guerrillas then entered a house in Chinore. Police and army personnel cordoned off the area and were engaged in a gunbattle with the militants.
Once the remaining hostages were rescued, there would be a "final onslaught", said an army officer, which in military terms means blowing up the building with rocket launchers or explosives.
"This (civilian hostages) is what is holding us up from launching final onslaught. We are ready for that," the army officer said.
Army personnel have taken positions on roof tops of adjoining houses in densely populated Chinore, located on a hillock.
Grenade explosions and gun shots were heard in the area as the one-storey building where the militants were hiding was perforated with bullet marks.
"This is a serious situation. The intruders sneaked into the Indian side under the cover of fire, which was most probably provided by the Pakistani Rangers," a BSF official said.
This is the second major gun battle in Jammu region in less than three and a half months.
Six people were killed in Samba town, 40 km south west of Jammu May 11. According to defence sources, militants had infiltrated May 8 from across the international border in Samba sector before they surfaced May 11 morning and killed civilians and soldiers. Three milita
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