The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fidayeen flushout continues

Srinagar, Nov. 19: An operation to flush out the two fidayeen militants who attacked a battalion headquarters of the CRPF last night is still continuing.

Security forces brought down one of them today when they blew up a Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited telephone exchange where they had holed up. Ten others, including two army officers, were injured in the operation.

The assault on the exchange had to be put on hold before seven troopers of the Special Services Bureau (SSB) and eight BSNL employees were evacuated early this morning.

The SSB personnel were posted on guard at the exchange from where all the telephone lines in the area, including those to the army’s 15 Corps, are operated. Civil telecom facilities to the entire cantonment was shut down following the destruction of exchange.

Troops used mortars to blow up the BSNL hub in Indra Nagar. Fire from the blazing building engulfed two adjacent houses and destroyed them.

Police said the surviving militant entered an adjoining house and is firing on the forces. The house has been surrounded and senior officers said the operation would be over soon.

Though the exchange was ringed by troopers after the attack last night, the militants, hurling grenades and firing from automatic weapons, entered the BSNL building.

Senior army, paramilitary and police officers are supervising the operation. The CRPF has just begun relieving the BSF from duty within the insurgency-ridden state.

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