SRINAGAR: As Army Chief General Bipin Rawat visited Line of Control (LoC) and army units in North Kashmir to review operational preparedness of troops, militants of Hizbul Mujahideen ambushed an army convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway at Qazigund in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday killing two army men and injuring four others.
A police official said a group of militants fired from AK-47 rifles towards a convoy of army vehicles at Jammu-Srinagar National highway near Lower Munda toll in Hillar, Qazigund area of Kulgam district this afternoon.
“The militants fired indiscriminately on an army vehicle, which was part of the convoy,” he said.
The police official said army men also returned the fire.
“Six soldiers were injured in the militant attack,” he said adding militants managed to escape after carrying out the attack.
The injured soldiers, he said, were evacuated to army hospital in Srinagar, where two succumbed to injuries.
Four others are undergoing treatment in the hospital and doctors have termed condition of one of them as critical.
Immediately after the militant attack, army men laid siege around the area and conducted search operation to nab the militants responsible for the attack. However, no arrests were reported during an hour long operation.
After the militant attack vehicular traffic on Srinagar-Jammu national highway was suspended. However, the traffic was restored after army called off the combing operation.
The militant group Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hizb operational spokesman, Burhan-ud-din, said militant of the group carried out successful attack on army convoy.
He claimed that four soldiers were killed and seven others injured in the attack.
He quoted operational commander Mehmood Ghaznavi as saying that the outfit has decided to reward the militants involved in the attack.
Such attacks would continue in future also, he warned.
South Kashmir is emerging as stronghold of militants and over 120 militants are active in the region comprising four districts of Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian.
Meanwhile, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat today visited LoC formations and army units in North Kashmir to review operational preparedness of troops.
“At both the places, he was briefed on all aspects of operational and logistical preparedness. General Rawat was appreciative of the measures put in place to meet any challenge posed by elements inimical to national security and complimented the troops for the recent successful counter infiltration operations that had delivered a major blow to the adversary,” defence spokesperson in Srinagar Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.
The army chief stressed on soldiers deployed in the Valley to continue utmost vigil and operational focus and reassured them of the entire nation’s pride and support for their endeavours.
He said that it was a privilege for every soldier to be entrusted with the safety, security and integrity of his country and that we must always be prepared to live up to that trust and confidence.
During his three-day stay in Srinagar, army chief held talks with army commanders and reviewed the security situation in the State.