Uri attack: 17 soldiers martyred, 24 injured. We've had enough!
In one of the deadliest attacks ever on the Indian Army, 17 soldiers were killed and 24 others injured after four heavily-armed suicide attackers stormed into the Army’s administrative base in Uri on Sunday.
The attack has further heightened the tension between India and Pakistan and also across the Kashmir Valley. The Uri base in Baramulla district is located close to the Line of Control. This is the highest casualty the Indian Army has suffered in a single attack in the last several years.
All the four suicide attackers, hailing from Pakistan, were killed in the ensuing gunbattle that lasted close to four hours. Search operations are continuing to ensure there are no more terrorists lurking in the area. An unmanned aerial vehicle has been pressed into service for this purpose.
According to preliminary reports, the attackers belong to the Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM). The same group was responsible for the Pathankot air base attack in January this year.
The attack comes ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly. Sharif is expected to raise the Kashmir unrest issue at the meeting. Responding to the attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the attackers would not be spared. Home Minister Rajnath Singh rushed to Srinagar on Sunday to review the situation.
At around 5:30 am, heavily-armed militants entered into the rear base camp of an infantry battalion while most of the Army personnel were asleep. They launched an attack which resulted in a fire. Several tents caught fire. A majority of the soldiers, who were sleeping, were trapped in the fire and died due to burns.
The terrorists were then challenged by the Army personnel. An hour later, special forces of the Army took control of the operations and eliminated all the four terrorists. A large number of weapons with Pakistani markings, including four AK 47 rifles and four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers, were recovered.
“All four attackers were foreigners and belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammed,” Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Ranveer Singh said. “About 14 of our men died in the fire that broke out in the shelters.” Of the 24 injured, nine are critical.
Though there were credible inputs of militants waiting to sneak over to the Indian side, security agencies are perplexed over how they managed to cross the border. “Lapses will come out once the Army completes its enquiry,” sources said.
They shall not go unpunished: PM Modi
NEW DELHI: The Union government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee, severely condemned the attack in Uri and promised that the prepetators would not go unpunished. “Those behind the despicable attack will not go unpunished,” the Prime Minister said.
Have spoken to HM & RM on the situation. RM will go to J&K himself to take stock of the situation.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 18, 2016
We salute all those martyred in Uri. Their service to the nation will always be remembered. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 18, 2016
We strongly condemn the cowardly terror attack in Uri. I assure the nation that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 18, 2016
“India will not be cowed down by such attacks. We will thwart the evil designs of terrorists and their backers,” President Pranab Mukherjee said.
The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a high-level meeting to review the situation and directed the security forces to launch an all-out offensive against militants in the Valley. “Pakistan is a terrorist State. It should be identified and isolated as such. I am disappointed with Pakistan’s continued support for terrorism,” he said.
Rajnath also postponed his visit to Russia and the US in the wake of the attack and continuing unrest in Kashmir.