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Rediff.com  » News » Sunjwan attack: Ops continue for 2nd day, 5 soldiers, 3 terrorists killed

Sunjwan attack: Ops continue for 2nd day, 5 soldiers, 3 terrorists killed

Last updated on: February 11, 2018 20:52 IST

IMAGE: Security personnel deployed at Sunjuwan Military Station during a terrorist attack, in Jammu on Sunday. Photographs: PTI Photo

A day after the pre-dawn audacious terror strike at the military camp in Jammu's Sunjuwan, the Army on Sunday said it has found the bodies of three of its personnel and a civilian, taking the toll to six, and gunned down three suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists.

Five Army men, including two junior commissioned officers (JCOs), and the father of a soldier have been killed in the attack by the terrorists who struck at the sprawling camp of the 36 Brigade of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JKLI) on Saturday, an Army spokesperson said..

In a statement, Jammu-based Army PRO Lt Col Devender Anand said three heavily armed terrorists have been killed in the ongoing operation.

IMAGE: A third terrorist was killed on Sunday, was also found wearing Army combats and was heavily armed like the other two.

While two were gunned down on Saturday, the body a third terrorist was found on Sunday, he said, adding they were in combat gear.

He said that AK-56 rifles, an under barrel grenade Launcher, ammunition and grenades were from them.

The spokesperson also said, "There has been no firing since last night."

IMAGE: The Jammu and Kashmir Police appealed to the public to avoid thronging the Sunjwan Army camp area where the encounter was underway.

Earlier in the day, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid had said that four terrorists had been killed.

In Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh exuded confidence that the ongoing operation against terrorists would be successfully concluded soon.

"I think it is not proper for me to comment when the operation is still on. I'm sure that our jawans, who are in the operation, will successfully conclude it," he told reporters.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi condemned the attack and said all Indians across political lines stand united with the Army men and women.

IMAGE: 10 people, including six women and children, were injured in the attack.

Giving details, Lt Col Anand said, "So far, six fatal causalities have occurred. They include two JCOs, three jawans and one civilian dependent, all residents of Jammu and Kashmir."

10 people, including Major Avijit Singh, have been injured of which six are women and children, he said.

One of the injured woman was pregnant. She later delivered a baby girl through a caesarean operation and both the mother and child were stable.

A 14-year-old boy had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was in a critical condition.

Those killed were identified as Subedar Madan Lal Choudhary, Subdebar Mohmmad Ashraf Mir, Havaldar Habib-Ullah Qurashi, Naik Manzoor Ahmed, Lance Naik Mohmmad Iqbal -- all from the JAKLI, besides the father of Lance Naik Mohmmad Iqbal, he said.

IMAGE: AK-56 rifles, Under Barrel Grenade Launcher, ammunition and grenades were seized from them, he said.

The officer said that a search operation of the family quarters in the Army complex for evacuation of people and to ascertain the situation was underway.

A number of families were still in the camp and the Army's aim was to ensure their safety, he said.

Vaid said that investigation is on to find out where from the terrorists came. "Whether they infiltrated from Pakistan or came from Kashmir is being investigated," the DGP said.

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team on Sunday visited the camp and examined the evidence collected by the Army from the site of the gun battle, an official said.

The latest attack on the camp took place nearly 15 months after the Jammu region was hit by a similar attack.

IMAGE: A number of families were still in the camp and the Army's aim was to ensure their safety, Lt Col Devender Anand said.

On November 29, 2016, terrorists had stormed the Army's Nagrota camp on the outskirts of the city, killing seven Army personnel, including two officers. Three terrorists were gunned down in the operation.

The terrorists had struck before dawn on Saturday and managed to sneak into the camp from the rear end of the base after a brief exchange of fire with the sentry guarding the periphery.

IMAGE: The attack on the army camp comes nearly 15 months after the Jammu region was hit by a similar attack -- on November 29, 2016, terrorists had stormed the army’s Nagrota camp, killing seven army personnel including two officers. Photograph: PTI Photo

 "The terrorists entered the family accommodation complex after which quick response teams cordoned off the area and isolated the terrorists, who are holed up in a few houses (inside the camp)," an official said.

While there was no action around the main entrance and vehicles were moving along the Jammu-Lakhanpur bypass in front of the camp, Army personnel in bullet-proof vehicles were engaged in the operation to rescue people from the family quarters in the rear side of the base.

Contingents of the Central Reserve Police Force and police were posted outside the boundary wall and were keeping curious onlookers at bay to prevent civilian casualties.

IMAGE: Intelligence inputs had warned of an attack on an Army or security establishment by Jaish-e-Mohammed. Photograph: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

 A high alert has been sounded in Jammu and security beefed up in and around the city.

Intelligence inputs had warned of an attack on an Army or security establishment by Jaish-e-Mohammed in view of the death anniversary of Afzal Guru, who was hanged on February 9, 2013, for the 2001 attack on Parliament House.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh exuded confidence that the ongoing operation against terrorists would be concluded successfully soon.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi condemned the attack and said all Indians across political lines stand united with the Army men and women.

 
 
 
 
Residents provide snacks, meals to security forces

As the operation to flush out terrorists entered the second day, local residents have been frequenting the area to serve meals and snacks to police and paramilitary personnel camped there.

The admiring gesture by residents of Sainik Colony has also been well-received by the mediapersons stationed there.

The residents pooled their resources and have been serving meals, tea, snacks and water to hundreds of people, mostly police and paramilitary personnel and scribes, camping outside the main gate of the sprawling military station since Saturday.

"It's a small effort on our part... We want to contribute to the nation and decided to provide tea and snacks to the security forces deployed outside and to the mediapersons," Sanjeev Manmotra, who is leading the initiative, told PTI.

He said their effort was also aimed at sending a message to the misguided youth in the Kashmir Valley who target security forces with stones during anti-terrorist operations.

"They (security forces) are sacrificing their lives to ensure our safety and it is our responsibility to do whatever possible to help them especially during such a situation," Manmotra, state president of Bharat Tibet Sahyog Manch, said.

However, another volunteer, Prakash Singh Jamwal, said the forum had nothing to do with the initiative.

"We have come together and are spending from our own pockets," he said.

Jamwal said the Army was battling it out with the terrorists and ‘as nationalists, we want to contribute. Since we cannot fight the terrorists, we took this initiative’.

Manmotra said they provided lunch, dinner and snacks to 500 people on Saturday.

"We are Indians and it is our responsibility to see that our forces do not go hungry while on duty."

He said they had to buy fresh stock on Sunday morning.

Bharatiya Janata Party and Bajrang Dal activists had visited the area on Saturday and staged ‘anti-Pakistan’ demonstrations to condemn the attack and express solidarity with the security forces.

The activists also raised pro-Army and pro-India slogans.

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