Eight army men, including a senior officer, and three policemen were killed battling a group of heavily armed militants who mounted a brazen attack on an army camp in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, a state that is in the midst of assembly elections. All the six rebels were killed, an official said.
Lt. Col. Sankalp Kumar and a junior commissioned officer were among the soldiers killed in the audacious pre-dawn terror attack that took place at the army’s Field Ordnance Camp located at Mohra near the border town of Uri, the official said.
The attack comes in the midst of the five-phase assembly elections in the state. The next phase of elections is due Dec 9. The polls began Nov 25 and end Dec 20, with the votes to be counted Dec 23.
The group of gunmen sneaked close to the army camp and struck at 3 a.m. But they met with stiff resistance at the main gate of the army camp.
The sentries on duty heard the gunshots and challenged the rebels who were armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades.
The official said eight soldiers and three policemen were killed in the attack.
There are differing accounts of whether the militants managed to enter the army camp. An officer said that they did enter, but the attack was repulsed, while another said that the gunfight was confined to the main gate of the camp.
The gun battle was now over, a senior police officer said.
Quick Response Teams (QRTs) were “rushed to the site after the militants attacked the camp. The militants opened fire at one of the QRT vehicles on the main road, killing an officer and two soldiers”, the police officer said.
He said that the soldiers who took on the rebels were killed outside the camp.
Initially, the toll in the terror attack was put at eight, but as searches yielded eight more bodies it was raised to 16, and again revised later
The bodies of six militants too have been found.