SRINAGAR: Three soldiers were killed after heavily armed militants attacked their convoy at Pampore area on Srinagar-Jammu national highway in outskirts of Srinagar on Saturday.
An army official in Srinagar said militants armed with AK-rifles fired indiscriminately on a vehicle, which was part of an army convoy, at Kadlabal area of Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, some 14 kms South of Srinagar, summer capital of the State at around 2.55 pm.
He said five soldiers were injured in the militant attack.
“The injured soldiers were evacuated to military hospital at Badamibagh Srinagar, where three jawans succumbed to injuries. Two others are undergoing treatment,” the official said.
He said the attack on convoy was carried out by motor-bike borne militants.
The convoy was on its way to Srinagar from Jammu.
After the militant attack, police, paramilitary and army men launched a joint combing and search operation in the area to track down the militants responsible for the attack.
No militant group has claimed responsibility of the attack.
However, a senior police official said it can either be handiwork of the Lashkar-e-Toiba or Hizbul Mujahideen militants.
“Both Lashkar and Hizb militants are active in South Kashmir and militants of any of the two groups would have been involved in the attack,” he said adding they have launched investigation to identify the attackers and track them.
J&K Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has condemned the killing of three army personnel in the militant attack.
“Violence has never helped in the resolution of issues but only compounded the human miseries,” she said and expressed her sympathies with the families of slain army men.
Today’s attack on army convoy is the second deadly militant attack on security forces convoy in Pampore area this year.
Earlier on June 25, a group of Laskhkar-e-Toiba militants had ambushed a convoy of paramilitary CRPF at Pampore area. Eight CRPF men were killed and 20 others injured in the deadly militant ambush. Two attackers were also killed in the encounter.
Besides, militants have twice attacked J&K government’s Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) multi-storeyed buildings at Sempore area, which is few kilometers from Pampore town, this year.
In the first attack in February which lasted for 48 hours, six security personnel including three army commandos and a civilian employee of the EDI and three attackers were killed.
In the second attack on the building in October, two militants were killed and a soldier and policemen injured.