Lt Col, 10 security men, 8 militants among 21 killed in 4 attacks

Fayaz Bukhari

Army jawans with bodies of slain militants and troops in action at the site of encounter in Uri on Friday. -Excelsior pics by Aabid Nabi & Younis Khaliq
Army jawans with bodies of slain militants and troops in action at the site of encounter in Uri on Friday. -Excelsior pics by Aabid Nabi & Younis Khaliq

Srinagar,  Dec 5: Kashmir valley was rocked by multiple militant attacks, two days ahead of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s election rally in Srinagar, in which 21 people including 11 security personnel were killed.
In an audacious attack, a group of heavily armed militants stormed into an Army’s 31 Field Regiment Ordinance Camp located in Mohra Uri near the Line Control (LoC) this morning, killing 11 security personnel, including a Lieutenant Colonel. However, army responded quickly killing all six militants in the operation, however, searches continued till late evening.
Security forces also killed a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander and his associate in Srinagar while two civilians were killed and 11 others were injured in Tral area of South Kashmir when militants lobbed a grenade near bus stand.
Reports said that militants stormed into the army camp by cutting the fence. They entered into the underground bunkers of the camp on the highway and started firing indiscriminately. A police party lead by the SDPO Uri also rushed to the spot soon after firing and three members of that police party were killed.
The troops of the adjacent army camps rushed to the spot and 4-para commandos of the army conducted a swift operation and eliminated all the six militants. Army’s 161 TA, 46 RR were in the outer cordon to prevent militants from fleeing the area.
Sources said that the militant group has recently infiltrated. “Their infiltration during the last night can’t be ruled out as LoC is not so far from the army camp”, sources added.
A defence spokesman said here that a group of heavily armed and well equipped militants opened a heavy volume of fire with automatic weapons at an Army Camp in Mohura at around 3 a.m. today. “Army troops from within the camp retaliated immediately and engaged the terrorists. The troops from the neighbouring camps, who were already in a State of high alert, immediately mobilized their QRTs, rushing to the site and surrounding the area. In the ensuing fire fight, all six foreign terrorists were eliminated”, the spokesman added.
The spokesman said that the encounter between Army and the group of militants lasted just over six hours. “During the initial part of the Operation, one terrorist opened fire on the vehicles of the QRT of the neighbouring unit rushing to the site, in which one Gypsy went off the road and overturned, leading to casualties among the security forces. The terrorist was immediately eliminated by the troops of the Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) and his body was recovered”, the spokesman said.
“During the operation, a barrack also caught fire, presumably because of a kerosene heater toppling, in which some soldiers got trapped. The operations continued relentlessly and by 9.30 a.m., the terrorists were eliminated. During the deliberate clearing up operations which commenced thereafter, the bodies of five more terrorists were recovered, bringing the total to six terrorists eliminated”, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that during the intense operations, one officer and seven soldiers of the Army, one Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and two constable of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed.
The three policemen who lost their lives in Uri attack have been identified as ASI Muhammad Akbar of Tappar Pattan, Constable Sanjay Kumar of Jammu and Head Constable Abdul Majid resident of Lolripora Pattan.
“Six AK rifles with 55 Magazines, two shotguns, 2 Night Vision Binoculars, 4 Radio Sets, 32 unused Grenades, 1 Medical Kit and a large quantity of miscellaneous warlike stores were recovered from the dead terrorists”, the spokesman added.
The spokesman said that the army is continuing the operation in the surrounding areas to search out any militants who may still be hiding or attempting to escape.
Soon after the attack Army closed the Baramulla-Uri road and cordoned off several areas around the Mohra to ensure that there no more militants hiding in the area.
In the meantime, police today killed top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander and his associate in Ahmad Nagar area of Srinagar city.
A police spokesman said that in a major success against militants, the Jammu and Kashmir police killed two militants in an encounter in Soura area of Srinagar City this afternoon. The killed militants included one wanted commander of LeT.
“This afternoon militants fired upon a Police patrolling party in Awanta Bhawan area of police station Soura on the outskirts of Srinagar city. The fire was returned and in the retaliatory fire, one militant got killed while another one took shelter in a shed. The Police and CRPF engaged the militant in a gunfight, who started firing from the shed. In this encounter this militant also got killed”, the spokesman said.
Police identified one of the dead militants as Qari Asrar district commander of LeT. “Qari was an active member of LeT central Kashmir Huraira Group. He was involved in number of militant related incidents including one attack on Hotel Silver Star on Nowgam Bye-pass on October 19 2012. He was also involved in launching the militants particularly in South Kashmir”, the spokesman said.
Police spokesman said: “There was no collateral damage in this encounter. Arms and ammunition including 02 AK rifles and 07 magazines and hand grenades have been recovered from the encounter site.”
In another attack, militants hurled a grenade on Police Station in South Kashmir’s Shopian district. The grenade hit a Chinar tree and exploded with a bang without causing any damage.
Militants also lobbed a grenade in Tral town near Bus Stand leading to death of two people. Reports said that militants lobbed a grenade towards convoy of vehicles of an Independent candidate, Sheikh Abdul Rashid. However, it missed the target and exploded on road killing one person, Ghulam Hassan Gojar and injuring 12 persons. One of the injured Mohammad Shafi Gojar succumbed to injuries in the hospital.
After the attacks police, CRPF and army erected barricades at sensitive place across Kashmir valley and intensified security of the candidates to foil any militant strikes.