Srinagar, April 27
Three soldiers, including a 25-year-old Captain and Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were martyred and two militants were gunned down as army foiled a fidayeen attack on an Army camp in the frontier district of Kupwara early this morning. Five soldiers were also injured in the attack, who have been airlifted to Srinagar.
Meanwhile, one person was killed and several others were wounded when security forces opened fire, burst teargas shells to disperse demonstrators, demanding bodies of two militants killed in the encounter. A group of heavily armed militants opened indiscriminate firing with automatic weapons and hurled hand grenade at the main gate of an Army camp at Panzgam, Chowkibal in Kupwara district under the cover of darkness at about 0400 hrs.
Alert sentry posted at the main gate immediately retaliated and in the ensuing fierce gun battle two militants were reportedly killed.
However, a Captain identified as 25-year-old Ayush Yadav, Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) Bhoop Singh Gujjar Dusaa (46) and 38-year-old Naik Venkat Raman were martryed.
He said additional troops have been rushed there from nearby camps and a massive search operation has been launched.
Official sources said initial reports said that four militants, reportedly foreigners were involved in the attacked on the camp situated on the main road at Panzgam Chowkibal. Two militants were killed and a massive operation was going on to eliminate two other militants.
Local residents said that there was very heavy blast at 0400 to 0415 hrs sound of which was heard in the entire the entire village. The blast was followed by firing, they said adding after some time there was intermittent firing which later stopped.
The attack came a day after, GOC Chinar Corps Lt General J S Sandhu said Army will continue action against militants in the valley.
This was the first major fidayeen attack on army came since similar attack on September 18, 2016 left 20 soldiers dead and several others injured. Four fidayeen were also killed in the attack who stormed into the camp in Uri. Eleven days after the Uri attack, troops carried out fidayeen attack in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).
Official sources said later students of a local school boycotted their classes and hit the streets a distance away from the encounter site. However, police and security forces immediately swung into action and prevent students from moving towards the Army camp where encounter took place.
Local residents, including women, of the area also took to streets demanding bodies of the slain militants killed in the encounter. Security forces burst teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the stone pelting mob, they said adding later security forces opened fire in which one person was hit by a bullet. Several other persons were also injured in the stone pelting.
The injured were rushed to hospital where an elderly person identified as Mohammad Yousuf Bhat succumbed.
Additional security forces and state police personnel have been rushed to the area to control the situation which was tense.