Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR: Three militants and a civilian, who was working as a contractual employee with Army, died in a failed fidayeen attack on the administrative base of a battalion in Tanghdar, close to the LoC, in Kupwara district on Wednesday.
Defence sources told STATE TIMES that a group of three unidentified militants sneaked into the rear base of 3/1 GR after cutting the Concertina wires early in the morning. The heavily armed militants using AK-47 rifles and UBGLs targeted different barracks including a generator room and a small fuel storage. However, the quick reaction team retaliated effectively and killed all three of the militants around the base in Darshak forest cover.
Tanvir Ahmad Sheikh, son of Munir Ahmad Sheikh of Tanghdar, working as a contractual employee for operation of the generator with Military Engineering Service, also got killed. Three Army vehicles, a fuel dump, four barracks and the generator room were damaged in the fire during the fierce gunbattle.
While as JCO, VK Reddy, sustained a gunshot wound, Deputy Brigade Commander Col SK Kaul got a superficial injury. “Colonel has a minor injury and he is OK after the first aid. JCO has been airlifted to 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar where he is stable”, said an official.
Wednesday’s strike on the rear base of 104 Brigade was a repetition of the May 31, 2015, fidayeen attack by militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad on the same Brigade headquarters at Tanghdar in which all four of the militants had been killed and a civilian had also died during the encounter in Bakhiya hamlet outside the base. Like in that attack, Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility of Wednesday’s fidayeen strike in Tanghdar.
Defence sources said that the three militants killed in the operation did not carry any identification cards or documents, though all of them were believed to be Pakistani nationals. “They seem to have infiltrated into the Valley in the last 24 hours. It was certainly a freshly inducted group of the militants wearing combat fatigue”, an official source said.
While as the militants’ bodies were buried by the local Auqaf at Baghibela, the civilian was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard.
Defence spokesman at headquarters 15 Corps said in a statement that the Army foiled “an attempted suicide attack” and killed three terrorists in an alert and swift response. “The terrorists had tried to sneak into an Army Camp in the early hours today firing indiscriminately which resulted in the killing of one civilian and injuring an Army personnel. The terrorists were effectively intercepted by the Army’s Quick Reaction Teams which hemmed the terrorists in a cordon”. He said that three weapons were recovered from the militants killed in the encounter.
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