Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally in Srinagar and Anantnag on Monday, four separate militant attacks rocked the Kashmir Valley on Friday.
In the most serious attack of the day, six militants stormed an Army camp at Uri, 20 km from the Line of Control, around 3 a.m. In the ensuing gun battle, eight Army soldiers, including a Lieutenant- Colonel, three Jammu and Kashmir policemen and all the six militants were killed.
This strike was followed by an encounter between the J&K Police and two militants at a mobile checkpoint in Ahmad Nagar on the outskirts of Srinagar around 1.15 p.m. Both the militants were killed; one of them was later identified as Qari Asrar, the district commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The checkpoint had been set up in view of Mr. Modi’s forthcoming rally.
Soon after, two grenade attacks took place, the first in Shopian district around 1.30 p.m. and the other in Tral of Pulwama district around 2 p.m. In Tral, the grenade hurled at a bus stand killed two civilians and injured nine. There was no casualty in the Shopian blast.
Friday’s attacks took place in areas which are yet to go to the polls.
Mr. Modi condemned the terror attacks as “desperate attempts” to derail the atmosphere of hope created by the increased voter turnout in the Assembly elections. “125 crore Indians bow to our brave Army men who sacrificed their lives. These men lived & died for the nation. We won’t forget them,” Mr. Modi tweeted.
“A group of heavily armed terrorists opened a heavy volume of fire with automatic weapons at an Army Camp in Mohura around 3 a.m. on Friday. Army troops from within the camp retaliated immediately and engaged the six terrorists and killed them,,” an Army spokesperson said.
All the militants involved in the attack on the Uri Army camp were foreigners dressed in Army uniform, the spokesperson said. They had sneaked in through the LoC in the past 24 hours and made their way through the dense forests to reach the Mohura camp.