Deaths as Indian troops storm Kashmir hotel

Indian troops stormed a hotel in Kashmir where two fighters had been there for nearly 24 hours.

Deaths as Indian troops storm Kashmir hotel

Indian troops stormed a hotel in Kashmir on Thursday where two fighters had been there for nearly 24 hours, killing the fighters and bringing an end to the siege.

The four-storey hotel in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Himalayan region, was on fire before police announced both the fighters had been killed in a morning assault by security forces.



The fighters had taken refuge in the hotel on Wednesday. One police officer was killed in the attack and one bystander succumbed to his injuries Thursday.

The two fighters fought for about 22 hours, firing from automatic rifles and lobbing grenades before soldiers shot them down after a room-to-room search operation.



Jamait-ul-Mujahideen, a group which wants Kashmir to be merged with Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack and vowed to inflict heavy damage on security forces.

"One of the militants was a Pakistani national," Kuldeep Khuda, chief of Kashmir police, told reporters.



"The operation as far as we are concerned is over," Khuda, the state police chief, told reporters at the scene.

Overnight, police fired teargas to disperse scores of Kashmiri youths who threw stones at security forces, chanting "Kashmiri Mujahedeen, we are with you" and "We want freedom".

In 1948, the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for a referendum for Kashmir to determine whether the Himalayan region should be part of India and Pakistan. But India has rejected to hold referendum in Kashmiri territory.


Agencies

Last Mod: 07 Ocak 2010, 12:09
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