Four militants killed as CRPF repel suicide attack in Kashmir

Locals allege four youth killed in 'fake encounter'

Four militants killed as CRPF repel suicide attack in Kashmir
Four unidentified militants were killed after paramilitary CRPF troopers repelled a fidayeen (suicide) attack on their camp in Sumbal area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district during wee hours of Monday.

Sources said the heavily armed militants, believed to be Pakistanis, tried to enter the camp of 45 Battalion CRPF at Sumbal around 4:10 am by lobbying grenades and opening fire. “The alert sentries retaliated the fire, triggering a brief gunfight in which all the four fidayeen were killed 10-15 yards away from the camp’s fencing,” they added.

The identity of the slain militants was yet to be ascertained.  Confirming the incident, State police chief Shesh Pal Vaid said four terrorists were gunned down after they attempted to attack 45 Battalion CRPF at Sumbal, 25 kms from here. He also tweeted a picture of the four AK-47 rifles and other ammunition, he said were recovered from the slain militants.

A senior police officer told Deccan Herald that the fidayeen were planning an Uri-style attack and were carrying incendiary material, including petrol bombs. "Preliminary investigations reveal that the fidayeen had planned to get inside the camp and take control of a vantage point to prolong the encounter and burn up the place with an incendiary material causing wide-scale damage," he said.

However, locals alleged that four unidentified youth were killed in a 'fake encounter.' "One of the slain youths was wearing a chappal. Have you ever seen a militant wearing chappal while on a fidayeen mission? The bodies of the slain were badly mutilated by the troops," a local told DH over phone.

The killings led to intense clashes between civilians and security forces in Sumbal area in which several protesters were injured, he added. In a similar type of attack on September 18 last year, Army had suffered one of the worst causalities in peacetime operations. 18 troopers were killed and 18 others were injured as a group of fidayeen had stormed a strategic military base in north Kashmir’s Uri that day.

On 5 December 2014, six fidayeen militants had carried out a similar type of attack in Mohra area of Baramulla district. While the militants were killed, eight soldiers, including a lieutenant colonel, and three policemen had lost their lives along with several men from the Jammu and Kashmir police.

The latest attack comes just two days after militants ambushed an army convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway in south Kashmir's Kulgam district, in which two soldiers were killed and four others injured.

The camp which was attacked today is the headquarter of the 45th battalion which was headed by Chetan Kumar Cheeta who survived nine bullet injuries while fighting militants in neighbouring Hajn town on February 14.

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