7 soldiers, 6 militants killed in twin attacks near Jammu

A soldier stands guard during a gun battle with armed militants at Nagrota Army base, near Jammu on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Seven soldiers, including two officers, and six militants were killed in twin pre-dawn attacks launched by fresh infiltrators near Jammu on Tuesday, coinciding with the takeover of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as new Pakistan Army chief across the border.

A group of militants launched a fidayeen (suicide) attack on the White Knight Corps of northern command’s strategic 16 Corps — one of the biggest Army formations meant for Jammu, the Pir Panjal and the Chenab valleys — located at Nagrota, around 20 km from Jammu city.

Around 5.30 a.m., just before the crack of dawn, the fidayeen took advantage of the darkness to sneak in and spread themselves into the concrete structures inside the Army installation.

Police uniforms

“The terrorists were heavily armed and disguised in police uniform. They targeted an Army unit just 3 km from the Corps headquarters in Nagrota and forced their way into the Officers Mess by throwing grenades and firing at the sentries,” said a spokesman of the Northern Command.

While four soldiers, including an officer, were killed in the first round of firing, three more were killed during a rescue operation.

“The terrorists entered two buildings, occupied by officers and families. This led to a hostage-like situation. All, including 12 soldiers, two children and two women, were rescued. However, one officer and two jawans were killed in the operation,” said the spokesman.

The bodies of three terrorists have been recovered so far. The Army, according to the official, is slowly sanitising the area to avoid any booby traps. A chopper was pressed into service to locate the positions of the militants. “The operation is in progress,” he said.

Patrol targeted

In another attack, a Border Security Force patrol came under attack from a group of militants in Ramgarh sector, near the International Border in Samba district, 55 km from the first attack.

A BSF official said the militants were hiding near a tubewell, close to a BSF border outpost. “Three militants were killed in the gunfight,” said the official. Four BSF personnel, including DIG B.S. Kasana, were injured.

Two LeT groups involved in Jammu attack

Two groups of the Lashkar-e-Taiba were involved in the twin attacks in Jammu on Tuesday.

Army sources said preliminary investigation suggested that the two groups crossed into Jammu only on Monday night to carry out these attacks.

Speaking to Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda, Northern Army Commander, Governor N.N. Vohra expressed serious concern over repeated terrorist attacks on the security forces establishment.

“Pakistan is continuing with the attempts to exacerbate the situation while India was seeking to restore peace and normalcy,” said Mr. Vohra, while urging all the commanders to enhance surveillance on every front.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh termed the attacks a “desperate bid to push the State into chaos.”

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 9:04:34 PM |

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