Five soldiers killed as terrorists ambush army vehicle in J&K’s Kathua, second major attack in one month

The recent escalation in terrorist activities has been attributed to attempts by Pakistani handlers to reignite terrorism in the Union Territory (UT).
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 11:13 IST

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Srinagar: Five army soldiers were killed, and five others injured in a sudden and fierce attack by heavily armed terrorists on an army vehicle in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

Officials said that the terrorists initiated the assault with a grenade before opening indiscriminate fire on army vehicles conducting routine patrol duty on the Machedi-Kindli-Malhar Road at 3:30 pm.

The ambush occurred from a hilltop near Badnote village, 150 kilometers from Kathua town, targeting a vehicle carrying ten soldiers.

In the ensuing firefight, five soldiers lost their lives, and five others were injured, some critically, as they fought valiantly to repel the attackers. The terrorists managed to escape by taking cover in the dense foliage and natural contours of the land.

The injured soldiers were initially taken to Sub District Hospital Billawar before being transferred to the army’s command hospital. One of the injured soldiers is reported to be in critical condition.

Sources indicated that the ambush was meticulously planned, with the terrorists fleeing into a nearby forest before reinforcements could arrive. Senior army and police officers have rushed to the spot, launching a massive search operation to apprehend the assailants. The terrorists are believed to have recently infiltrated from across the border and were moving to higher elevations.

J&K police chief R R Swain is personally overseeing the anti-terrorist operation in the dense forest area connected to Basantgarh in Udhampur district, a region with a history of encounters.

Terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir have escalated in recent weeks. Monday’s attack marks the second major terror-related incident in Kathua district within the past four weeks. On June 12 and June 14, two terrorists and a CRPF jawan were killed in a gunfight during a search and cordon operation in the Hiranagar area of Kathua.

On June 9, a major terror attack occurred in the Reasi district of Jammu division, where terrorists fired at a pilgrim bus returning from Shiv-Khori temple, killing nine pilgrims and injuring nearly three dozen others.

In south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, six militants and two soldiers were killed in two separate gunfights between security forces and militants on Saturday and Sunday.

The recent escalation in terrorist activities has been attributed to attempts by Pakistani handlers to reignite terrorism in the Union Territory (UT). The attacks follow a pattern of escalating violence in the region, with previous attacks on security vehicles, search parties, and military convoys resulting in casualties among both civilians and security personnel.

Published 08 July 2024, 11:13 IST

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