Humhama gunfight over, 3 militants, BSF officer killed

Srinagar Smoke billows out of the building where militants were believed to be hiding during an encounter with the security forces following their attack at a BSF camp near the international airport in Srinagar on Tuesday

After chairing a high-level review meeting on the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday complimented the security forces for neutralising all the three fidayeens who attacked a BSF camp in Srinagar.

Suspected militants entered the 182 battalion of the BSF camp near the Srinagar Airport outside the Air Force station at Gogo Humhama around 4.30 am.

Authorities said the nearby airport, which is run and controlled by the military, remained safe although officials suspended flights for about four hours before resuming operations around noon. "A serious attack as averted which is an example of the BSF's discipline, training and bravery", he said. The toll, however, could have been much higher if the terrorists, who were from the Jaish-e-Mohammed group, had not be eliminated so quickly.

"While one attacker was killed in the initial gunfight, two others managed to sneak in", acknowledged Munir Khan, Kashmir's police chief. "The response of BSF was highly professional", he said.

Srinagar airport is the only civilian airport in the region, besides this, the technical airport used by armed forces and VIPs is also in the vicinity.

Media reports said the army had used helicopters in the area to take on militants.

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Although the violence appears to be waning, the latest attack has caused alarm across India's security agencies, says BBC Urdu's Riyaz Masroor.

Police said one of the attackers was shot dead first and the other two were killed later in an operation that lasted several hours.

Investigations following the BSF camp attack at Srinagar have revealed that the terrorists had entered into India early August as a batch of 10.

He also condemned the recent killing of a constable by the militants in his house in Kashmir and said this proves militants have easy access to "so-called safer areas".

Police meanwhile said that the stranded outstation passengers have been allowed to proceed towards Airport but did not give any details about flight operations.

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