SRINAGAR: Hours after a deadly militant attack on Army brigade headquarters in Uri in North Kashmir left 17 soldiers dead and 30 others injured, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief General Dalbir Singh visited Kashmir to review the security situation.
“After their landing in Srinagar, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army chief General Dalbir Singh were briefed by Northern Army commander Lt Gen DS Hooda and GoC of Army’s Srinagar based 15 Corps Lt Gen Satish Dua respectively at Srinagar on the Uri attack and the operation launched to kill the militants,” a defence spokesman said.
Four Fidayeen suspected to be members of Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group stormed Army’s brigade headquarters in Uri, close to Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir early this morning.
In the fidayeen attack, 17 army men were killed and 30 others injured. All the four attackers were also killed in the three and a half hours long encounter.
The defence spokesman said Lt Gen Hooda and Lt Gen Dua briefed the defence minister and Army chief about the operation in Uri.
Sources said the Parrikar and Gen Dalbir Singh were told that how army swiftly acted against the attackers and killed them.
They said they were told that most of the casualties were suffered by army due to fire in tents and shelters caused by explosions carried out by militants.
Sources said Defence Minister and Army Chief were informed that inquiry has been launched to ascertain how militants managed to infiltrate from across the LoC and how they managed to storm the highly fortified army base in Uri without being detected.
“The Defence minister was briefed about the security grid along the LoC and the hinterland. He was also informed about the deployment and employment of the additional forces that have been recently inducted into the Valley, which has been witnessing unrest since July 9 following killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani,” the defence spokesman said.
He said Parrikar felt the need for heightened vigil both along the LoC and hinterland and asked army men and officials to remain prepared for dealing with any situation.
The spokesman said defence minister was informed that army has foiled number of infiltration attempts by militants recently.
In the last one week, three such attempts were foiled in Kupwara sector when four militants were killed. Four more militants were killed in Poonch in three days of encounter.
The defence spokesman said army chief reiterated the importance of complete synergy amongst all security, intelligence and other government agencies to ensure calm and prevent the militants and other inimical forces from moving freely and intimidating the populace.
Earlier, the Army Chief visited Uri to get a firsthand account of the Uri operation.
Later, defence minister and army chief met the injured soldiers at the Army Base Hospital in Badamibagh Cantonment.
Saluting the martyrs, they expressed their deep grief and condolences over the loss and wished speedy recovery to the injured soldiers.
The defence minister has directed that the mortal remains of all the slain soldiers should be transported directly to their respective hometowns for which arrangements are being made.