Five soldiers killed, five injured as militants attack Army convoy in J&K’s Kathua

Firefight between Army and militants continue in Kathua; paratroopers airdropped to tighten cordon; this is the fourth terror incident in 48 hours in J&K

Updated - July 09, 2024 11:25 am IST

Published - July 08, 2024 06:55 pm IST - Jammu

The terrorists hurled a grenade and opened fire targeting Army vehicles which were on a routine patrol on the Machedi-Kindli-Malhar road on July 8, 2024. Image for representation purposes only. File

The terrorists hurled a grenade and opened fire targeting Army vehicles which were on a routine patrol on the Machedi-Kindli-Malhar road on July 8, 2024. Image for representation purposes only. File | Photo Credit: ANI

Five Army soldiers were killed and five were injured in an ambush by militants in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

Following the attack, the Army engaged the attackers in a firefight, which is still continuing.

Preliminary reports suggested that an Army patrol, comprising light and heavy vehicles, came under fire from two directions when the convoy reached Jenda Nallah in Badnota village, which is 124 km away from Kathua town. The incident took place around 3.30 p.m. The patrolling vehicles were from the Army’s 9 Corps (Rising Star Corps).

The militants, whose number is not immediately known, mounted the attack at a place that has a hill on one side and a steep slope on the other. Initial reports suggested the attackers came down from the hill side. One truck bore the brunt of the militants’ fire.

Kathua attack: Joint search operations launched to track down terrorists 

Reinforcements sent

Officials said the Army engaged the attackers in a firefight following the attack. Reinforcements have been rushed to the encounter site “to ensure the militants do not flee from the encounter site”. Paratroopers of the Army were airdropped near the encounter site in the evening to further tighten the cordon.

The critically injured soldiers were shifted to a hospital in Kathua. A few were treated at a local health centre. 

The attack came on the death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani, who was killed in an encounter on July 8, 2016, in south Kashmir.

The attack is also worrying as it coincided with the visit of Chief of Army Staff General Upendra Dwivedi just four days ago. General Dwivedi was also briefed by the Rising Star Corps, which is in charge of Kathua.

It’s the fourth militancy-related incident in the past 48 hours in J&K. Six militants and two soldiers were killed in south Kashmir on July 6 and 7 in two separate encounters. One soldier was injured in an attack in Rajouri on Saturday morning.

Earlier, two militants and a CRPF jawan were killed and six security personnel were injured in twin encounters on June 11 and 12. Three non-local militants were killed in Doda on June 27. Nine pilgrims were also killed on June 9 in an ambush by terrorists.

The Jammu region’s twin valleys, the Chenab Valley and the Pir Panjal Valley, have been witnessing increased militant activities this year. 

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