Two soldiers were killed when three car-borne militants opened fire on a quick reaction team (QRT) of the army on the outskirts of Srinagar city on Thursday.
The soldiers were part of an Army patrol team that was deployed to secure roads for security convoys.
“Terrorists fired indiscriminately on the Quick Reaction Team of Indian Army in the general area Aban Shah Chowk, HMT, Khushipora, Srinagar today afternoon. Being a crowded area, troops exercised restraint to avoid any civilian casualties and collateral damage,” Defence spokesperson Col Kalia said in a statement.
He said two soldiers were critically injured in the incident who were evacuated to the nearest medical facility. “However, they succumbed to their injuries,” Col Kalia added.
Inspector General Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said that three militants carried out the attack. “Initial reports said that the three militants were travelling in a Maruti car and two of them were carrying weapons, who fired indiscriminately at the army men leaving two of them seriously wounded,” he told reporters.
“It seems that Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit carried out the attack. There seems to be the involvement of one or two foreign militants,” Kumar added.
The attack came just two days ahead of the first phase of district development council (DDC) polls. In the first polls since it was split into two union territories and had its decades-old special status revoked last August, Jammu and Kashmir will hold DDC elections in eight phases between November 28 and December 19, and votes will be counted on December 22.
The fresh attack comes days after four Jaish-e-Mohammed militants, who were hiding in a truck, were killed in an encounter with security forces on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway near Nagrota. The police say militants want to disrupt the election with these attacks.