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Pakistan-backed militants strike J&K; 11 security men, 2 civilians, 8 militants dead

Srinagar: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's poll rally, Kashmir Valley was rocked by four terror attacks by militants on Friday from across the border who stormed an Army camp in Uri leaving 11 security personnel including a lieutenant colonel dead and killed two civilians in Tral.

The attacks and gunbattles with security forces which in all left 21 people dead also included a top commander of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and seven militants. Srinagar and Shopian were the other two places where the militants struck.

They came just three days after a 72 per cent voter turnout was registered in the second phase of incident-free assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir on Tuesday in a rerun of record polling in the first phase.

Modi, who will be holding a rally in Srinagar city on Monday, condemned the terror attacks as "desperate attempts" to derail the atmosphere of hope created by the increased voter turnout and saluted the soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation.

 

Uri, Srinagar, Tral and Shopian goes to polls in the third and fourth phase over the next 10 days. Uri is close to the line of control (LoC) between India and Pakistan.

Located 100km from Srinagar, Uri town in north Kashmir woke up to a raging gun fight between militants and army personnel this morning as a group of six terrorists had targeted an artillery camp, located 20km from the line of control (LoC) in a pre-dawn strike, official sources said.

The militants entered into the first barrack of the high-security artillery unit at 3.10am and fired several rounds which set off a fire. Four Army personnel, who were injured in the gunfight, could not come out of the barrack and were charred to death, the sources said.

A message was relayed to the local police and nearby Punjab Regiment which rushed its quick reaction team to counter the intruding militants. However, the team was caught in a crossfire in which Lt Col Sankalp Kumar of Punjab Regiment and three other ranks were killed.

An assistant sub-inspector of J&K police and two constables were also gunned down by the militants, who might have infiltrated into the region from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) around Monday or Tuesday.

Armed with Kalashnikov rifles, grenades and two shot guns, the dense fog in the region also came to the help of six militants who went on a killing spree before being shot dead by the army at the Mohra in Uri tehsil of north Kashmir's Baramulla district which goes to polls on December 9.

According to a senior Army officer, the infiltrators were clad in kameez-salwar (ethnic tunic-trousers) and armed with AK-47 rifles and hand grenades. He said SHO of Uri police station Latif Durrani was also injured.

"Though the firing has stopped, a few fidayeen could still be holed-up inside the camp," he added.

In Tral, militants hurled a grenade at a police party in which two civilians were killed.

Terming the attacks as most unfortunate, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said the militants crossed from across the border and fired at the jawans and securitymen at a camp.

Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said the attacks were a "desperate attempt" to disrupt peace and normalcy.

Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag is likely to visit Jammu & Kashmir on Saturday to take stock of the security situation in the state that was hit by terror attacks on Friday.\

This would be his third visit to militancy-hit state in less than two weeks while Army officials remained tight-lipped about his schedule, sources indicated that he will leave for the state on Saturday morning.

His visit comes a day after the attacks and gun battles with security forces in Kashmir valley 21 people dead, including a top commander of Pakistan-based terror outfit LeT and seven militants.

He will be briefed by the Army top brass in the Northern Command about Friday's situation as well as security scenario in the state that is in the midst of assembly elections.

From Zee News

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