SRINAGAR: Three soldiers and two militants were killed after militants attacked an Army camp in Kupwara district of Kashmir, early on Thursday morning.
The deceased soldiers were identified as Captain Ayush Yadav (25) from Kanpur, JCO Bhoop Singh (46) from Rajasthan and Naik B V Ramanna (38) from Visakhapatnam.
The slain militants, sources said, were foreigners. “They either belong to Lashkar-e-Toiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad,” the sources said adding that their identity is yet to be established.
“The militants lobbed hand grenades and fired from AK-47 rifles to inflict heavy damage on the forces,” said an Army official. “The attackers were, however, instantly engaged by the Army men in the camp. The gunbattle lasted for over 30 minutes.”
“During the gunfight, a captain, a JCO and a jawan were killed and five other soldiers sustained injuries. Two attackers were also killed in the gunfight,” the official said. The injured soldiers were evacuated to the Army hospital in Srinagar. The condition of two injured soldiers is said to be critical.
Following the incident, the Army has launched a massive combing operation to flush out any militants in the surrounding areas and within the camp.
Three AK-47 rifles, nine magazines, 156 rounds of ammunition, one Chinese pistol and three grenades were recovered from the slain militants. “Two GPS devices, a radio set and a smartphone were also recovered,” the official said.
Some militants may have recently crossed the LoC with the task of attacking Army camps, said sources.
“The Army has launched an investigation to ascertain how the militants managed to reach the camp undetected,” they added.
Thursday’s attack on the Army camp was the first fidayeen attack by militants this year and the third on Army camps in the Valley since September last year.
On September 18, 2016, four heavily armed militants had attacked an Army base in Uri, close to the LoC, killing 19 soldiers. All the four attackers were killed. Ten days after the attack, the Army launched surgical strikes on militant launch pads across the LoC.
On November 29, 2016, militants attacked a heavily armed Army camp at Nagrota in Jammu on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, killing seven soldiers including two officers.