Three soldiers died in a suicide attack early today at an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara. Five soldiers were injured in the attack, said to be the biggest since the strike on an army installation in Uri last September.
The attack is suspected to have been carried out by Pakistan-based terrorists, two of whom were shot dead in a four-hour gun-battle. The presence of at least another terrorist is suspected, since three AK-47 rifles were recovered from the spot. A manhunt in the area is on.
Among the deceased are 25-year-old Captain Ayush Yadav, Junior Commissioned Officer Bhoop Singh Gujjar Dusaa, 46, and 38-year-old Naik Venkat Raman.
The camp at Panzgam, 100 km from Srinagar, lies on a route through which Pakistani terrorists are known to infiltrate into India. An artillery brigade is stationed there.
The terrorists had struck around 4.30 am. They had breached the double fence from the rear of the camp, where a firing range was located, and entered the premises. A quick reaction team which was rushed to the spot managed to contain the attack. Sources said two of the terrorists were killed but another, who was injured, managed to escape.
Nine magazines, hand grenades, a matrix sheet and a smart phone were recovered from the spot. The terrorists, however, were not found carrying any backpack, which could mean that they had visited the camp before, sources said.
The attack comes a day after a meeting of the Unified Command, where infiltration was discussed.
Last year, 19 soldiers were killed in a similar attack on an army camp in Uri by terrorists who crossed over from Pakistan. Relations between Pakistan and India have been deeply strained since the attack, which marked the highest casualty suffered by the army in years.
Lately, terrorists have struck at will and breached facilities that have been under high security – including guards, high walls and concertina wire fences. Besides the attack in Uri, there were two such terror strikes last year.
In January, a group of heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists struck at the Air Force base in Pathankot. Six security personnel and a terrorist were killed in the attack. On November 29, terrorists entered the premises of the 16 Corps headquarters on the outskirts of Jammu city, killing 7 soldiers.
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