2 jawans killed in twin militant attacks in Lal Chowk

2 jawans killed in twin militant attacks in Lal Chowk

Jamiat-Ul-Mujahideen (JUM) claimed responsibility for the Lal Chowk attack.

Armed with guns and grenades, the militants struck almost simultaneously in crowded Lal Chowk and Batmaloo areas at around 1 pm when the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly went for a recess after completing the morning session, officials said.

Two CRPF jawans identified as Raj Shekhar and Malik Arjun of the 28th battalion were fatally shot in the head from point blank range by militants outside a bank at Lal Chowk, sparking panic in the city.

While authorities were busy restoring order in Lal Chowk, militants within no time struck a kilometre away at Batmaloo, hurling a grenade at a moving CRPF vehicle outside Fire and Emergency Services headquarters. 12 persons including four security personnel were injured in the explosion.

The injured were rushed to nearby SMHS Hospital where condition of two of the civilians was stated to be "critical".

Jamiat-Ul-Mujahideen (JUM) claimed responsibility for the Lal Chowk attack."Our activists carried out the attack in Lal Chowk," a caller claiming to be a spokesman of JUM said. He, however, claimed that they were not involved in Batmaloo strike.

The two attacks came at a time when security has been beefed up in the area in view of the ongoing session of the Assembly. A double-strike by militants in the area on August 1 had left two security personnel dead.

Immediately, more security personnel were deployed in the area which houses Civil Secretariat and Legislature complex and at other vital installations across the city.
Police and CRPF personnel took the two jawans shot in Lal Chowk to hospital where they were declared brought dead. The two were part of a CRPF party which had come from Hazratbal for deployment in Maisuma locality in the city, a CRPF spokesman said.

Panic-stricken shopkeepers pulled down the shutters as normal life came to a standstill in Lal Chowk and Batmaloo. Traffic was diverted as police and paramilitary forces looked for clues to nab the militants involved in the attacks.

Police said they also suspect the involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammad militants in the attacks.

On August 1, militants shot dead a policeman and injured two CRPF personnel at Batmaloo and Regal Chowk. One of the CRPF jawans succumbed to injuries after battling for life for 10  days.

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