Casualty in the Nagrota Army Headquarter attack has risen to seven as two officers and five jawans lost their lives.
In two major terror attacks, that rocked Jammu region on Tuesday, seven army personnel, including a Major, were killed and eight other securitymen, including a BSF DIG, were injured, before six heavily-armed terrorists were eliminated in the separate fierce encounters.
In one incident, a group of heavily-armed terrorists in police uniform stormed an army unit in Nagrota, very close to the Corps headquarters on the outskirts of Jammu city on Tuesday morning, triggering an intense gunbattle that lasted for hours. Seven army personnel, including two officers, were killed in this attack before three terrorists were killed in an armed stand-off
After the initial offensive, a hostage-like situation emerged with almost 12 soldiers, two ladies and two children held captive in a camp in the headquarters. The army successfully freed all the hostages, however, one more officer and two jawans lost their lives during the rescue operation.
Security personnel take positions during a gun battle with suspected militants at Army camp at Nagrota. PTISecurity personnel take positions during a gun battle with suspected militants at Army camp at Nagrota. PTI
However, bravery of the wives of two army officers who were staying in the family quarters helped in averting a major hostage crisis during the encounter. Soon after the heavily armed terrorists disguised in
police uniform entered an army unit located within three kms from the headquarters of the 16 Corps, they wanted to enter the family quarters where they could take the families of the soldiers and officers hostage.
However, due to the bravery of these two women, who were staying in the family quarters along with their newborns, the plans of the terrorists could not materialise. “The wives of the two army officers, who were on night
duty when the encounter broke out, displayed exemplary courage as they blocked the entry of their quarters with all the household items, making it difficult for the terrorists to break into the houses,” an army officer privy to the encounter told PTI.
On Tuesday, according to a police officer, an unknown number of militants barged into the field regiment camp in the Nagrota cantonment near the headquarters of the Indian Army’s 16 Corps in Jammu and Kashmir around 5.30 am. The militants were carrying automatic weapons and explosives and they started firing indiscriminately at the Officers’ Mess inside the camp.
After around eight hours of heavy exchange of fire, security forces managed to kill three terrorists, however, the number of militants who entered the army premises could not be confirmed.
Manish Mehta, Defence PRO, told reporters in Jammu that bodies of three militants were recovered from the premises and combing operations have still not concluded. The combing operations were concluded for the day on nightfall but will resume on Tuesday on daybreak.
Mehta also added that the terrorists entered the premises disguised in police uniforms and launched into indiscriminate firing with heavy war-like ammunition.
It is instructive to note here that Nagrota is not close to the international border, which raises questions that for how long the terrorists could have been inside the Indian territory.
The field regiment camp is located in the garrison town of Nagrota, around one kilometre from the headquarter of Indian Army’s 16 Corps in the state — a military formation that acts as a nerve centre to fight militancy and defend the borders in Jammu region.
The militants were holed up in the army camp since morning as they exchanged fire with the security forces, killing three jawans and injuring three others in the gunfire, one of them being a young army major.
The retaliatory firing by the security forces killed one terrorist in the morning before the terrorists split up and started firing from three ends — the officers’ mess, the store and the river front in the camp.
“A group of heavily armed militants, believed to be four-to-five in number, attacked the 166 field army regiment camp in Nagrota area of Jammu today [Tuesday] morning,” a police officer told IANS.
“After entering the camp, the militants fired at the Officers Mess inside the camp. Two militants were killed and three soldiers injured. Other militants are still firing inside the camp,” the officer added.
According to CNN-News18, the Indian forces killed two other militants in the afternoon after the paramilitary commandoes joined the operations. But it couldn’t be confirmed.