Jammu: All three terrorists who attacked an army base in Jammu and Kashmir's Tangdhar in the early hours of Wednesday were eliminated by the security forces after a five-hour gunbattle. A civilian was also killed in the firing. The Army had to summon Special Forces to deal with the crisis.
Terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
One soldier was also injured in the attack. The encounter started when the heavily armed terrorists were challenged by an Army unit after they tried to infiltrate into the Tangdhar sector along the Line of Control with Pakistan. Several barracks in the Army camp have been gutted after an oil dump caught fire during the encounter.
As per initial reports, around 7.30 am, three to four terrorists positioned themselves at a mountainous ridge near the camp, which is located near the LoC. The terrorists opened indiscriminate firing on the Army camp and also threw grenades, the reports said.
"There was a stand-off fire from Kalsuri Ridge (in Tangdhar sector) towards an Army camp this morning," a senior Army official told PTI.
He said there was a brief lull before the militants opened fire again, triggering off a gunbattle, which was going on till last reports came in.
The official said the militants seem to be heavily armed as they used small fire arms and Under Barrel Grenade Launchers to carry out the attack. "So far there are no casualties reported," he added. Tangdhar sector is close to the LoC in Kupwara district and has been used as an infiltration route in the past.
The official said it was not yet clear whether the militants were part of infiltrating group. "That is a matter of investigation. We can comment on it only after the operation is over," he added. There are about 80 soldiers in the base. Ajaz Ahmed, SSP Kupwara told reporters that more than three militants are involved in the attack on Army camp and they are most probably fidayeens.
Separately, the Army today busted a major terror hideout and recovered several improvised explosive devices (IED) and ammunition from Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.
The joint operation was conducted yesterday evening by the Rashtriya Rifles battalion, Territorial Army and the Jammu and Kashmir police.
Meanwhile, the Army has also been engaged in a search operation to flush out hiding terrorists from the Rajwar forests in Handwara and so far three security personnel have been injured, including a Lieutenant-Colonel and two jawans.