6 killed in J&K fidayeen attack

6 killed in J&K fidayeen attack

Two militants, three security personnel and a civilian were killed while 11 others, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), injured when terrorists disguised as Army troopers created havoc in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district on Friday.

Reports said at around 6:30 am, heavily armed militants in Army fatigues stopped a pickup van whose driver was returning to Punjab after supplying vegetables on strategic Jammu-Phatankot national highway.

They forced the driver to take them to Rajbagh police station in Kathua district, some 15 km from the International Border, reports said. As the sentry of the police station opened the gate, the terrorists killed him and drove inside.

After killing the sentry, the militants hurled grenades at the police station and opened indiscriminate fire, reports said. Inspector General Police  Jammu Danish Rana told reporters in Kathua that two militants, two policemen and a  CRPF trooper were killed in the gun battle inside the complex that lasted for a few hours.

“It was a fidayeen attack,” he said and added that 11 people, including six civilians and a DySP, were injured in the attack. After fierce gun battle, sources said, security forces finally managed to eliminate the two fidayeen who had sneaked into Kathua after crossing the International Border from Pakistani side on Thursday night.

The identity of the slain militants couldn’t be ascertained immediately. However, sources said they were Pakistani nationals.

Soon after the attack, security was beefed up on the Jammu-Phatankot highway while all educational institutions in the area were closed as a precautionary measure.

A senior police officer told Deccan Herald that only a few policemen were present on duty at the time of the attack. “The Station House Officer himself was not around, and he arrived only after the encounter started,” he said.

The officer added that the attackers used the same route to reach the border district as the two earlier teams of fidayeen who struck at Dayalachak and the Samba Army camp in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Friday’s fidayeen attack was third of its kind in Kathua district in the last one and a half years. Eleven people – five policemen, a civilian, two Army men, including a major, and three terrorists - were killed when heavily armed terrorists in combat fatigues had stormed a police station and an Army formation in the same district on September 26, 2013. Just six months later on March 28 last year in another fidayeen attack, six people, including two civilians and an armyman, were killed when terrorists disguised as army troopers created havoc in the same district.

The attack had come days after the BJP’s then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed a rally the district, lashing out at Pakistan for terror activities on Indian soil.

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