Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: It turned out to be a sombre birthday for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who turned 81 on Thursday as the twin terror attacks in Jammu & Kashmir, that claimed 12 lives, dampened the situation in the valley.
PM Singh, who is anyway a reluctant birthday celebrator, avoided cutting the cake on board the special Air India aircraft in wake of the terror attacks.
The PM, who had stopped at Frankfurt enroute to US, condemned the attack and expressed his “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims.
"No words are strong enough to condemn the heinous terrorist attack on Hira Nagar police station and Army camp at Sambha in Jammu and Kashmir this morning," Singh said.
"I convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of the brave army and police officers as well as the innocent civilian martyred in this cowardly attack," he added.
However, the Gujarat CM and the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, who is known for his direct verbal attacks on the PM, did not delay in wishing him a “long and healthy” life on his birthday.
Best wishes to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on his birthday. I pray for his long and healthy life ahead.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 26, 2013
Nine people including a Lt Col, two sepoys, four policemen and two civilians were killed in the attack that was staged by heavily-armed militants dressed in Army fatigues on Thursday.
They attacked a police station in Kathua before targeting an Army camp in nearby Samba, in a terror strike that came just 72 hours ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif.