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Fernandes reviews situation in Akhnoor, says there was no security lapse
July 23, 2003 10:19 IST
Last Updated: July 23, 2003 13:36 IST
Defence Minister George Fernandes on Wednesday said Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba could be behind Tuesday's terrorist attack on an army camp in Tanda, near Jammu, in which a Brigadier was among eight army personnel killed.
Twelve personnel were injured in the incident, which is turning out to be a major embarrassment for the army.
However, after reviewing the situation at the army camp in the Akhnoor sector, Fernandes insisted there was no security lapse on the part of the armed forces.
Defence sources said the minister arrived at the army camp in Tanda on Wednesday morning and was briefed by Army Chief General N C Vij about Tuesday's suicide attack in which Northern Command chief Lt Gen Hari Prasad, 16 Corps commander Lt Gen T P S Brar, two major generals and two colonels were among the injured.
During his 45-minute stay, Fernandes reviewed the security around the camp.
Fernandes also visited the nearby military hospital and interacted with the injured jawans, the sources said.
"We suspect the involvement of the Lashkar-E-Tayiba in this incident... they have owned up through a shadow outfit," the defence minister said.
After taking stock of security situation at the army camp in Tanda, Fernandes told reporters in Jammu, "Our jawans did a good job by killing three militants, sent by Pakistan. There were no security lapses."
He said the attack was aimed at derailing the peace process between India and Pakistan.
Fernandes, who earlier enquired about the condition of the injured army personnel, said they had suffered minor injuries and were hale and hearty.
Army Chief General N C Vij, Northern Command chief Lt Gen Hari Prasad and 16 Corps Commander T P S Brar, were present when Fernandes spoke to the reporters.
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