Armed forces

Seven Soldiers Killed in Militant Attack on Army Unit in Nagrota

Security personnel take positions during a gun battle with suspected militants at Army camp at Nagrota near Jammu on Tuesday. Credit: PTI

Security personnel take positions during a gun battle with suspected militants at Army camp at Nagrota near Jammu on Tuesday. Credit: PTI

An army artillery unit in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nagrota was attacked by militants on Tuesday morning, killing seven soldiers. According to an NDTV report, heavily armed suicide attackers in police uniforms entered the base before dawn.

An army statement said that the militants entered buildings where army officers’ families were, leading to a hostage-like situation.

Army and police officials quoted by the Deccan Chronicle said that the army’s 166 Field Regiment unit was attacked at 5:30 am when the militants threw grenades. In response, the army opened fire. The militants were allegedly trying to enter the camp. Among the deceased was Major Kunal Ghasalvi, who succumbed to injuries at an army-base hospital.

All three militants were killed in the encounter, defence PRO Lt Colonel Manish Mehta told the Indian Express. All the hostages were rescued. “Three heavily armed terrorists in police uniform entered in officers’ mess building complex, fired heavily and attacked with grenades. 12 jawans, two ladies and two children were inside. There was hostage-like situation which was successfully neutralised,” said Mehta.

According to India Today, defence minister Manohar Parikkar said that no civilians were targeted in the attack.

Nagrota is the headquarters of the 16 Corps and is about 20 km from Jammu. The area has reportedly been cordoned off by the army. The reports also mentioned that schools have been shut down.

In a separate incident, NDTV reported that the BSF intercepted a group of militants at Samba, in Kashmir, as they tried to cross the international border. The BSF told the Deccan Chronicle, “A group of five to six terrorists fired at the forward BSF posts in Ramgarh sector in a bid to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir but the alert jawans retaliated by opening fire, killing three of them. The encounter was on when reports last came in which one jawan namely, Sanjay Kumar, has been seriously injured,”. The firing in Samba has reportedly stopped and the area is being “sanitised” to ensure that no more militants are present in the area.