JAMMU: A paramilitary force personnel was killed and nine others were injured after terrorists targeted a CISF bus leading to a gunfight near an Army camp on the outskirts of Jammu early Friday, officials said.
The encounter in Sunjwan took place amid heightened security arrangements in Jammu and Kashmir, two days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scheduled visit to Samba district.
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials said a bus carrying 15 personnel for their morning shift came under attack at 4.25 am near the Chaddha camp area.
A senior official of the paramilitary force said the terrorists fired at the bus and lobbed grenades, killing Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) S P Patil and injuring two other occupants of the bus.
The force retaliated effectively, the officer said. In the counter-terror operation, a terrorist was also killed, the CISF officer said. However, according to the police, the gunfight began when terrorists opened fire on a search party.
Additional Director General of Police of Jammu Mukesh Singh said the encounter started when the police's Special Operations Group and the CRPF launched a joint search operation in the area.
"We had inputs about terrorists planning something (on the eve of the prime minister's visit). A cordon was laid based on an input and the search party came under fire, resulting in the death of a security jawan and injuries to four others," Singh, who rushed to the scene of the encounter, told reporters.
He said the encounter is still on and further details are awaited. "It seems they are hiding in a house. The details will be shared later after a thorough search with the first light," the ADGP said.
A total of nine security forces personnel, including two policemen, were injured and taken to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital, the officials said.
Mobile internet services were suspended and schools closed for the day in the vicinity as a precautionary measure.
The officials said at least two heavily-armed terrorists, likely belonging to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit, are believed to be trapped in a vicinity adjacent to the sprawling Sunjwan military station, the officials said, adding they had apparently come to carry out a major strike in the city.
On February 10 in 2018, three JeM terrorists stormed the Sunjwan Army camp and in the subsequent gunfight, seven persons, including six soldiers, were killed.
All the three terrorists were also gunned down. On National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24, the prime minister is scheduled to visit Pali village, 17 km from here, to address a gathering.
This will be Modi's first visit to Jammu and Kashmir other than borders since the abrogation of the special status of erstwhile state and its bifurcation in August 2019.
He had celebrated Diwali with Army jawans on October 27, 2019 in Rajouri and on November 3, 2021 in Nowshera sector in Jammu division.