Terror rocks Kashmir

11 security personnel among 21 killed

Terror rocks Kashmir

Two days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit and three days ahead of the third phase of election in Jammu & Kashmir, militants launched a series of attacks across Kashmir Valley on Friday killing 21 people.

The dead included 11 security personnel, eight militants and two civilians. In the first audacious fidayeen (suicide) attack, militants stormed an Army camp at Mohura, Uri, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, killing 11 security personnel, including a lieutenant colonel. 

Sources told Deccan Herald that the militants cut through a wire fence around the small artillery camp in Mohura and then fired rocket-propelled grenades at the securitymen in their bunkers.

A defence spokesperson told Deccan Herald that a group of heavily armed militants opened fire with automatic weapons at an Army camp in Mohura around 3 am on Friday.

“Troops retaliated immediately and engaged the terrorists. In the more than six-hour-long gunfight, all six foreign terrorists were eliminated,” he said.During the intense operation, the spokesperson said, eight soldiers, including an officer, and three policemen lost their lives. 

He said six AK rifles with 55 magazines, two shotguns, two night vision binoculars, four radio sets, 32 unused grenades, and a large quantity of miscellaneous warlike stores were recovered from the possession of the slain militants.

“The Army is continuing the operation in the surrounding areas to flush out any terrorists who may still be hiding or attempting to escape,” he added.

Uri is close to the line of control (LoC) between India and Pakistan. In a separate encounter at Soura on the outskirts of Srinagar city, top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Qari Israr was killed when he was trying to enter the area.
Giving details of the incident, Inspector General Police (IGP) Kashmir A G Mir said they had inputs about the presence of militants in Srinagar who were trying to carry out some big attack during the prime minister’s visit.

“During a routine check, two militants travelling in a car opened fire on police. In the retaliatory firing, one militant was killed while another took refuge in a residential house. Police and paramilitary forces cordoned off the house and the second militant was also neutralised,” he told reporters at the encounter site.

Over 40 km from Srinagar, in Tral, police said, militants hurled a grenade at Tral bus stand, which resulted in injuries to 11 civilians. Two civilians succumbed to injuries on way to hospital, a police spokesman said.

In neighbouring Shopian district, reports said a hand grenade attack on a police station shattered the window panes of the DSP’s residential quarter. There were, however, no casualties.

Friday’s attacks come in the midst of the five-phased ongoing Assembly elections in the state where voters largely ignored separatist and militant boycott calls in the first two phases.

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