7 Indian troops killed in IHK army camp attack

Jammu: Two majors and five soldiers of the Indian Army were killed in an attack on an Army unit in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nagrota on Tuesday. Army personnel killed three militants and rescued two women, two children and 12 soldiers who had been trapped in a hostage-like situation.
The attack took place early on Tuesday, when heavily armed militants disguised as policemen attacked an Army unit close to the Corps Headquarters in Nagrota, which is less than 15 km away from Jammu. They stormed into the offcers’ mess after throwing grenades. In the initial counteraction, two officers and five soldiers were killed, the Army’s Northern Command said in a statement.
The militants then entered residential buildings, where the families of some personnel were lodged.
Army personnel contained the situation and launched an operation to rescue the soldiers and their family members caught in the buildings and also to neutralize the terrorists.
One more officer and two more soldiers were killed in the operation that saw the rescue of 16 people, including two children and two women.
Sources said the militants, suspected to be three to four in number, stormed an army unit at around 5am triggering a fierce gun battle that raged into the night.
A defence statement said the bodies of three militants have been recovered and “operations are in progress to sanitise the complete area”.
In another gunfight, 70km from Nagrota, three Kashmiri fighters were killed and six BSF men, including a DIG, were injured near the International Border in Chamliyal area of Samba sector.
Staccato bursts of gunfire and loud explosions continued in the cantonment as helicopter gunships hovered overhead in fading light of the day. Through the day, more than 25 loud explosions followed by indiscriminate firing were heard from an area housing an officers’ mess.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed on the Nagrota strike, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said in Delhi. No civilians were targeted, he said.
Reports said five-six militants alighted from a Maruti car before opening fire and lobbing grenades at the sentries on the main gate of the 166 medium regiment and stormed the army unit.
Helicopters and drones hovered over the site where the militants had taken positions inside an officers’ mess.
The injured were shifted to a military hospital in Satwari, sources said. The administration shut all schools in the cantonment, which is vast and runs close to the National Highway 1A.
Nagrota, which is around 20 km from Jammu, is the headquarters of the army’s 16 Corps, a massive military formation that defends the borders and fights with freedom fighters in the greater Jammu region. The army camp is surrounded by thick forests and a river flows just behind it. The unit is highly fortified, said officers, but the attackers were from the fidayeen or suicide squad and were “determined to get in”.—Agencies