Police refute reports of hostages escaping from Kashmir mosque

December 24th, 2007 - 10:43 pm ICT by admin  

By Suhail Ahmad
Srinagar, Dec 24 (ANI): Deputy Inspector General of Police, South Kashmir, H K Lohia today refuted media reports that three out of the five people taken hostage inside a mosque in the state’s Kulgam District have escaped from militants’ captivity.
Lohia said: “No person has been released by the militants,” adding that there is no truth in these reports.
Some reports today said that when three of the hostages were sent out by the three Hizbul Mujahideen militants to bring them food, they never returned to the mosque.
Meanwhile, IGP (Kashmir) S M Sahai said there were unconfirmed reports about the three hostages managing to escape.
Army and state police have surrounded the mosque. They have asked the militants to surrender, but so far they have not responded.
Officials said efforts are being made to secure the release of the civilians.
Police officials said, although food and medicines have been supplied for the persons, held captive, but the militants have not collected them.
The holed up militants have been identified as Shiraz Ahmad Bhat, Mudasir Ahmad Mir and Ishfaq Ahmad Wagay.
Militants took refuge in a mosque at Palanyarepora village, on Sunday afternoon when the area was being searched by security forces, and also took five villagers as hostages.
The militants have demand negotiations with senior administrative officials for their safe passage in return of hostages.
The talks between the officials and the militants are on through the public address system. (ANI)

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