J&K: Gunmen fire at bank vehicle, guards killed

Soon after the attack, the security forces launched a search operation in the area to track down the assailants.

Srinagar: Two bank guards were killed when militants targeted a Jammu and Kashmir Bank vehicle in southern Shopian district on Monday.

Earlier, three militants, believed to be Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) cadres and a woman resident, were killed during an encounter in Handwara area of frontier Kupwara district, the police said.

A statement issued by the police said that two security guards were killed by terrorists after targeting a J&K Bank Scorpio in Shopian’s Kral Check area at around 3 pm on Monday. “The vehicle was on its way to Keller (Shopian). Two security guards — identified as Tariq Ahmed (25) and Mushtaq Ahmed (30), residents of Tumle Hall (Pulwama district) and (neighbouring) Anantnag, respectively — were injured in this attack. They were shifted to Pulwama’s district hospital where they succumbed to their injuries,” the police said.

Soon after the attack, the security forces launched a search operation in the area to track down the assailants, but no arrests had been made till filing of this report.

The sources in the J&K bank said that one of the slain guards Tariq Ahmad had purchased his own gun for Rs 80,000 recently as owning a licensed gun helps private security guards in getting a better wage package.

J&K Bank chairman and CEO Parvez Ahmed, while expressing shock over the killing of the security guards, said though they were employees of a private security firm Honest Security Agency their families should be “sufficiently supported financially and emotionally as they have lost bread earners”.

Gunmen have been on bank robbery spree across Kashmir for quite some time and it is a second incident of its kind when they killed security guards in their attempt to loot cash from moving bank vehicles.

On May 1 this year, five J&K policemen and two bank employees were killed when militants attacked a cash van in southern Kulgam district. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the formidable Kashmiri militant outfit, while owning responsibility had said it, however, did not kill the bank employees.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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