Jammu Tawi, November 29
Suicide bombers armed with guns and grenades stormed a military artillery base near Jammu on Tuesday, triggering a fierce pre-dawn gunfight that left three soldiers and four attackers dead, officials said. Three more militants died in another shootout with security forces near the International Border with Pakistan here. The attacks at the army base and a BSF camp-both on the outskirts of Jammu city – were the latest in a series of escalating militant violence in Jammu and Kashmir after the September 29 surgical strikes at terror launch pads by the Indian Army in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Police sources told JK Newspoint here that a group of militants in police uniform barged into the military camp at Nagrota, near the headquarters of the Indian Army’s 16 Corps, a military formation that acts as a nerve centre against militancy and to defend the border with Pakistan. A police officer said the militants carrying automatic weapons and explosives entered the field regiment camp around 5.30 a.m. They started firing indiscriminately at the Officers’ Mess inside the camp in Nagrota, some 15 km from here.
“Three soldiers and four militants were killed and three army men were injured,” the police officer said.
The dead soldiers included Major Kunal Gossain of 166 Medium Regiment Artillery, the officer said. The bodies of the slain gunmen were recovered even as the operation was still on.
The police officer said intermittent gunshots were heard at the shootout site till late in the evening.
However, military spokesperson Lt. Col Manish Mehta refused to divulge details of the operation. He told that security forces were mopping up the area.
Staccato bursts of gunfire and loud explosions continued in the cantonment as helicopter gunships hovered overhead in fading light of the day. Through the day, more than 25 loud explosions followed by indiscriminate firing were heard from an area housing an officers’ mess.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed on the Nagrota strike, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said in Delhi. No civilians were targeted, he said.
India blames Pakistan-based militants of targeting security personnel and civilians in India, a charge Islamabad denies
The Jammu-Srinagar highway, which runs through Nagrota, was closed for traffic near the town.
“We have ordered closure of all schools and education institutions in Nagrota tehsil in view of the terror attack”, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said.An alert has been sounded in Jammu city.
As soldiers battled the militants in Nagrota, another gunfight raged in Samba, some 40 km south of here.
A police officer said security forces engaged a group of infiltrators from Pakistan in a shootout Distt SAMBA RAMGARH Sector near the International Border BABA CHANLIYAL POST
Three militants were killed in the heavy exchange of fire, the officer said.
An IED exploded when forces tried to remove the body of one of the dead militants, critically injuring at least7 border policemen, including an officer of the Deputy Inspector General rank, B.S. Kasana.
The 7 wounded troopers, including Special Operation Group Inspector Sarabjit Singh, were taken to a hospital here, the officer said, adding their condition was serious.
Earlier, police sources had said that the injuries were caused by an explosion when an ammunition dump caught fire in the shootout.
The violence on Tuesday followed days of calm on the border and the Line of Control (LoC) between Indian and Pakistani forces.
The two sides have been exchanging heavy mortar and artillery fire for months after the September 18 killing of 19 Indian soldiers in an attack on a military base in the border town of Uri in Kashmir.
Following the Uri attack, the Indian Army destroyed at least seven terror launch pads and killed an unknown number of terrorists and their sympathisers across the LoC in Pakistani Kashmir.
Since then, militants have attacked security forces in at least a dozen strikes in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, statement from army regarding Nagrota incident wherein army said that in the early hours of 29 November 2016, a group of heavily armed terrorists disguised in police uniform targeted an Army unit located three kilometers from the Corps Headquarters at Nagrota. The terrorist forced their entry into the Officers Mess complex by throwing grenades and firing at the sentries. In the initial counter action, one officer and three soldiers of the Army were martyred. The terrorist entered two buildings which were occupied by Officers, families and men. This led to a hostage like situation.
The situation was very quickly contained and thereafter, in a deliberate operation all were successfully rescued, which included 12 soldiers, two ladies and two children. However, in this rescue attempt one more officer and two jawans sacrificed their lives. Bodies of Three terrorists have been recovered and operations are in progress to sanities the complete area.
Earlier, the statement said that a group of heavily armed terrorists disguised in police uniform targeted an Army unit located three kilometers from the Corps Headquarters at Nagrota. The terrorists forced their entry into the Officers Mess Complex by throwing grenades and firing at the sentries. In the initial counter action, one officer and three soldiers of the Army were martyred. The terrorists entered two buildings which were occupied by Officers, families and men. This led to a hostage like situation. The situation was very quickly contained and thereafter, in a deliberate operation all were successfully rescued, which included 12 soldiers, two ladies and two children. However, in this rescue attempt one more officer and two jawans sacrificed their lives. Bodies of three terrorists have been recovered and operations are in progress to sanitise the complete area.