Two soldiers killed in militant ambush

Two soldiers killed in militant ambush

Kashmir crisis: Massive search operation on to nab terrorists

Two soldiers killed in militant ambush

Two soldiers were killed, while four others were injured after militants ambushed an army convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Saturday.

Sources said three or four militants ambushed the convoy that was coming from Jammu and opened fire on the moving army vehicles near Lower Munda, Qazigund, 90 km from here, resulting in injuries to six troopers.

The injured were evacuated to the army’s 92 base hospital in Srinagar, where two troopers succumbed to injuries.

Militants flee
The militants fled from the spot, sources said, adding that a massive search operation was launched in the area to nab the attackers.

Reports said traffic on the busy national highway came to a halt immediately after the deadly attack. Tension gripped the nearby Qazigund town after news of the attack spread.

A senior police officer, wishing anonymity, termed the attack a “major security lapse” as an alert had been sounded by the intelligence agencies that militants might increase attacks on the highway ahead of the annual Amarnath Yatra, which begins on June 29.

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attack. In a tele-statement given to the local news-gathering agency KNS, Hizb-ul’s operational spokesman, Burhan-ud-din, warned of more such attacks in the future.

Not isolated incident
Saturday’s attack is not an isolated incident. Last year, militants targeted forces on more than eight occasions on the highway, resulting in nearly 20 casualties.

On June 25, 2016, four heavily armed Lashkar-e-Toiba militants suddenly appeared on the highway near Pampore town and mounted an attack in which eight paramilitary troopers died and nearly 12 were badly wounded.

On December 17, three army men were killed after militants attacked their convoy on the highway near Kadlabal.
In the wake of the rising highway-based terror attacks on the forces, the security agencies had decided to install CCTV cameras and deploy additional forces on the highway to prevent attacks.

However, a senior police officer told DH that despite the rising attacks, there has been little increase in the deployment of forces on the highway that connects the Valley with the rest of the country, and is used to carry supplies to the Srinagar-based 15 Corps.

The revival of militancy, especially home-grown terror, is making security agencies nervous, locals fearful, separatists excited and early morning headlines ominously gloomy.
DH News Service

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