Published On: Sat, Feb 10th, 2018

Two soldiers martyred, 3 JeM terrorist killed in ongoing operation in Jammu

Jammu: Two soldiers, including a junior army officer, were martyred and and nine others, including women and children, injured when a group of heavily-armed JeM terrorists dressed in army fatigues stormed a military camp here in a pre-dawn attack on Saturday, hurling grenades and spraying automatic gunfire as they entered the family quarters when everyone was asleep.

Most of the families have been evacuated from the junior commissioned officers quarters

So far, three of the terrorists have been killed and a few more are still holed up, said an official.

The two martyred soldiers were identified as junior commissioned officer (JCO) Madan Lal Chaudhary and NCO (non-commissioned officer) Ashraf Ali, both belonging to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Nine others – five of them women and children including the daughter of the slain JCO who had come to visit her father during school holidays – were injured. Two were in a critical condition.

“As part of the ongoing operations in Sunjuwan, the army has killed two heavily armed terrorists. The terrorists wearing army combat dress were carrying AK-56 assault rifles, large amount of ammunition and hand grenades.

“Search of their belongings confirms the terrorists to be from Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). Operations are in progress with extreme caution and restraint to safeguard the unarmed soldiers, women and children in the houses,” a Defence statement said.

Most of over 150 houses in the complex have been cleared and occupants moved to safety, it said.

“Operations will continue till all the terrorists are apprehended or killed”.

Besides recovering arms and ammunition from the slain terrorists, JeM flags have also recovered from them.

Defence sources said that soldiers at the Sunjuwan Military Station close to Jammu city noticed suspicious movement near the camp around 4.45 am.

Suspecting they could be terrorists, the soldiers challenged them. But the heavily armed terrorists hurled grenades and opened fire from automatic weapons, sources said.

The terrorists then entered the JCO family quarters in the vicinity and holed themselves up in one of the houses.

“The attack has now been contained. Most of the families have been evacuated from the junior commissioned officers quarters where the terrorists had entered. Before the final assault on the terrorists, we are making sure that no civilians are harmed in this operation,” the statement said.

Sources said room-to-room intervention was going on to pin down the terrorists inside the JCOs’ residential building.

Army sources said the terrorists have been pinned down and the operation is being carried forward cautiously so that no further security force or civilian casualties occur.

Para commandos were airlifted from the army’s Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur town to flush out the holed-up terrorists, whose exact number is still not known.

The air force has been providing aerial surveillance to the security forces during the operation against the militants who have been surrounded inside one of the buildings.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed her anguish over the terror attack saying, “Deeply disturbed by the terrorist attack in #Sunjwan today. My heart goes out to the injured and their families.”

She also presided a high-level meeting to review the security situation in wake of the terror attack, where Northern Command chief Lt Gen. Devraj Anbu, apprised her of the attack and the operation.

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