SRINAGAR: After a gap of six months, suicide bombers surfaced again in Jammus Kathua district Friday morning and made an unsuccessful bid to storm an army camp and ammunition dump. At least five persons, including three militants and an army soldier were reported killed.
Giving details police said, three gunmen in Indian army fatigues appeared at highway near Dayala Chak in Kathua district during wee hours on Friday and intercepted an incoming Bolero vehicle.
They fired at the inmates, who were five in number, after they put up resistance.
One of them, Ajit Ram of Vijay Pur died instantly while three others were injured.
Militants hijacked the vehicle along with the driver.
According to the Superintendent of Police, Samba at least three gunmen fired on Bolero Jeep (JK21A-7670) during wee hours near Tarnah Nallah bridge in Dayala Chak belt of Kathua district. The vehicle was carrying four devotees of Radha Swami Beas sect besides the driver. The gunmen before killing a passenger and injuring three others hijacked the vehicle and took the driver Tarseen Singh along, he said.
Reports said that the unidentified gunmen drove some 25 kms before abandoning the vehicle at Kalibari-Janglote belt close to an army artillery base and reportedly disappeared in the nearby forest area.
According to the reports the driver Tarseen Singh was found dead inside his vehicle when police and army reached there.
Soon after wards a gun battle erupted in the area and causing injuries to a soldier.
Identified as Lance Naik Antoney of 111 Rocket Launcher Regiment the injured soldier later succumbed to his injuries.
Jammu Inspector General Rajesh Kashmir said that three militants carried out the attack and attempted to sneak inside the army camp at Janglote but were fired at by the sentry at army post. The militants then slipped into the adjoining forest area. Security forces faced tough task because of the thick forest cover, he said.
Janglote is an artillery rocket regiment and the camp is located close to highway. The militants were heavily armed and lobbed grenades at the camp. Nearly 700 soldiers were present in the Army camp when militants struck, sources said.
At around noon, the Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Prasad said that all the three militants were eliminated and the firing has stopped. He said the body of the third militant was recovered from the encounter side.
Giving the details of the gun- battle, Mr Prasad said that one civilian got killed in the initial firing identifying him as Ajit Ram of Vijay Pur, Jammu. He added that a driver of the half open Bolero vehicle was also found dead.
When asked about any links between the fresh attacks and the ensuing elections, DGP stated that police has kept the threat level same as that of previous elections. Since three militants have got killed, we will have to invoke other investigation methods to come to some conclusion.
Pertinently, militants earlier had carried out the similar attack on army on September 26 last year in the area. Eleven people including five policemen, a civilian, two army men, including a major, and three militants were killed during that attack.
The attack has come two days after BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Hiranagar-Dayalachak belt of Kathua district.
An outfit calling itself the Shohada Brigade has claimed responsibility for the Friday attack.
Alert Sounded In Jammu
Soon after the attack, security was beefed up on Jammu- Phatankot highway while all the schools and colleges were closed as a precautionary measure. The Jammu-Punjab border was sealed and heavy security deployed at Army camps and important places in Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts.
The J&K Police sounded a red alert on entire highway after the attack.
This is the second major militant attack in Kathua district in last one year. On September 26, 2013, three militants had attacked a police station and an army camp in the border districts of Kathua and Samba, killing 11 people, including four policemen and an army officer.
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