Army camp attacked in Kashmir, both terrorists killed
Jammu/New Delhi: Two guerrillas attacked an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district on Saturday but were gunned down by the security forces. Without naming Pakistan, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said such attempts show the neighbouring country's "desperation".
A pilgrim sustained injuries during the attack at the Mesar army camp, but the army said he had hit his head in panic and there was no gunshot injury.
The army said both the guerrillas involved in the attack were killed although a search was still on in the area.
The brigade commander of the area, Brigadier B.S. Rana, told mediapersons that two terrorists wearing paramilitary fatigues lobbed grenades and fired from automatic weapons at the camp of the 82 Field Armoured Regiment in Samba district early on Saturday morning.
The terrorists attacked the camp around 5.50 a.m., and the operation launched against them was completed in six hours.
"The alert guards at the camp retaliated promptly, thereby thwarting the terrorists' attempt to enter the camp. Both the terrorists have been gunned down. Firing has stopped, but a search operation is still going on in the area," Brigadier Rana said.
According to sources, the first terrorist was killed around 10.30 a.m., while the second was killed around 1 p.m.
The army did not confirm injuries to any of its soldiers although reports from the gunfight site earlier said two soldiers had sustained minor injuries during the operation against the guerrillas.
The injured pilgrim -- identified as Pappu, son of Mahadev Prasad of Ferozabad in Uttar Pradesh -- was on his way to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra town of Reasi district, police said.
He was taken to the Samba district hospital, where doctors referred him to the government medical college and hospital in Jammu city.
The army camp is 40 km from Jammu city on the strategic Jammu-Pathankot national highway.
Traffic on the highway was suspended and all schools in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu region were shut.
All exams scheduled in these two districts were postponed.
The 82 field armoured regiment comes under the 9th Corps headquartered at Yule camp in Dharamsala, Himachel Pradesh.
The camp was also attacked by guerrillas on September 26, 2013, after an attack on that day at the Hiranagar police station in Kathua district that killed 12 people.
Saturday's attack comes a day after guerrillas attacked the Rajbagh police station in Kathua district. Six people -- two terrorists, two paramilitary troopers, a policeman and a civilian -- were killed in Friday's attack.
Intelligence sources in Jammu said the two militants had escaped during Friday's attack.
The two slain guerrillas were also wearing paramilitary fatigues on Friday.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, Defence Minister Parrikar on Saturday said that "when the morale of the opponents is down, they make such attempts to boost it".
Parrikar said intelligence has improved over time and this year, the security forces have killed 26 terrorists so far, with lesser number of casualties on the Indian side.
"With such low loss, we inflict pain on the other side," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function.
"This is the best figure in many years. On the army side of the LoC (Line of Control), exchange of fires is also low," he said.
Without naming the country, the minister indicated that these attempts show desperation on Pakistan's side.
Parrikar argued that since the region "is not uniform area", terrorists could infiltrate using the nullahs, adding that water bodies make infiltration easy.