One killed in Held Kashmir hotel attack
20 October, 2012
SRINAGAR: At least three gunmen attacked a popular hotel in the Indian-held Kashmir on Friday, killing a bellboy and leaving at least two other people injured, security forces said.
The armed gang began shooting outside the Silver Star Hotel on the outskirts of the main city of Srinagar at about 4:30 pm (1100 GMT) before entering the premises and firing "indiscriminately", according to a police statement. Police said in the statement that "the militants had planned an... attack on army vehicles which were passing by. They did not succeed and thus tried to enter a nearby hotel." The dead man was a bellboy, a senior security official said from the scene, while police said two others have been "rushed to hospital where they are being operated upon".
Afadal Mujtaba, a deputy inspector general for Srinagar police, told AFP that "these three gunmen opened fire and killed this boy and injured two others". Dozens of soldiers and paramilitary police called to the spot cordoned off the four-storey hotel and were undertaking a search inside the hotel and the surrounding area to try and catch the gunmen, who are thought to have fled. The motive for the attack remained unclear, although the police referred to the attackers as "militants".
Friday's attack, the first in Srinagar since May of this year, occurred on a day when several senior officials from the army, police, intelligence agencies and government met to review the security situation in the state. In the May attack, two motorcyclists fired on a group of army officers, injuring seven. Militant attacks on tourists or the tourist industry are rare and gunmen usually target security forces in their convoys or check-points.