At least six persons -- three militants, two civilians and a jawan -- were killed when militants donning Army uniform fired at a bus and later engaged in a firefight with troops in Kathua district of the state on Friday.
The attack comes in the wake of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s election rally in the district two days ago.
Police sources said three militants wearing Army uniform intercepted a vehicle at Dayala Chak area. “In the firing one person was killed and three others injured,” the sources said.
“The vehicle sped towards Janglote area of the district,” they said. The militants abandoned the vehicle in the area, but took the driver along.
The militants made an attempt to attack an Army post outside the camp there. “However, the alert Army men foiled their plan, forcing them to flee,” sources said.
“The militants entered a forest area, but were tracked by the jawans. The heavy firing between the two sides continued for few hours,” sources said.
Additional Army men, police and paramilitary personnel were rushed to the area to flush out the militants. “Two militants were killed and four Army men were injured in the firefight. The injured jawans were hospitalised and one of them succumbed to injuries,” sources said.
After two militants were gunned down, the security men tightened cordon around the third, who was holding the driver of the vehicle hostage.
“Around 5.30 pm, he was killed by the security men,” sources said. The security forces recovered three AK rifles, three pistols, 18 AK magazines, IEDs and grenades from the encounter site. J&K Director General of Police Ashok Prasad confirmed that six people were killed in the militant attack.
“One civilian was killed in the initial firing. The driver of the vehicle was also found dead. Besides, three militants were also killed,” he said.
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief Saif-ud-Din Soz, and other mainstream leaders condemned the attack, while a little known militant outfit- Al-Shuhada brigade – claimed responsibility for it.