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September 12, 2000
11 killed in J&K suicide attack
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Eleven army men, including an officer, were killed and over 17 others were wounded when five heavily armed militants stormed an army camp at Beerwa in central Budgam district early on Tuesday.
Police said the Lashkar-e-Tayiba was behind the suicide attack.
The police said that in the gun-battle that followed, two militants were killed by the troops, who encircled the camp building immediately after senior officers went to the spot with reinforcements. Three militants managed to escape.
Sources said that the militants in fatigues forced entry into the heavily guarded building and hurled grenades and fired indiscriminately from automatic weapons.
The sources said that 11 army men, including a major of the 34 Rashtriya Rifles, died on the spot. Soldiers in the camp immediately took positions and reinforcements were sent to the spot. The camp was encircled and troops engaged the militants in a gun-battle that continued till late on Tuesday morning.
Seven houses were destroyed in the heavy fighting. Sources said that the agriculture department office and district institute of education building were also destroyed.
This is first time in two months that militants have stormed an army camp in Kashmir. After the Kargil war last year, militants stormed several camps in Kashmir.
The sources said the area was tense, with troops conducting searches in adjoining areas.
The state government has decided to construct underground bunkers for civilians near the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir, for which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 50 million.
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