Heavily-armed militants dressed in army fatigues Thursday attacked a police station in Kathua. PTI file photo
In a twin terror attack, three heavily -armed militants dressed in army fatigues today stormed a police station and an army camp in Jammu region killing eight people including a Lieutenent Colonel, casting a shadow on the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif.
Four policemen were among the five killed in the audacious 'fidayeen'(suicide) attack on the Hiranagar police station in Kathua while three army personnel including Lt Col Bikramjeet Singh died in a similar strike shortly afterwards on the army camp at nearby Samba, officials said.
A Colonel-level Commanding Officer (CO) of the unit was among the three injured in the attack at the camp where a 16 Cavalry formation is stationed.
The three militants first barged into the police station near Jammu-Pathankot National Highway around 6.45 am and indiscriminately fired after hurling a grenade, police said.
Four policemen, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, were killed and another ASI was injured in the attack that also left a civilian dead, DIG Shakeel Baig said.
The militants later hijacked a tempo truck on the highway, boarded it and forced its driver to move towards Jammu, police said.
The truck was stopped outside the Army camp at Samba and the militants then opened indiscriminate firing on jawans deployed at its security gate before they stormed the premises.
They barged into the Army Mess where they resorted to heavy indiscriminate firing as troops geared up and retaliated resulting in fierce gunbattle which was still on.
Senior Army officials said three Army personnel, including a Lieutenant Colonel, were killed and three others including the Commanding Officer (CO) of the unit were injured.
Army have moved in crack commandos and quick action teams inside the camp.
The attack came a day after the Prime Minister left for the US where he is scheduled to meet Sharif on Sunday for talks which have been opposed by BJP.
This morning's attack is seen as a bid to derail the meeting from across the border.