Seventeen Indian soldiers have been killed in the terror attack in Uri sector in North Kashmir.
Heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army in Uri early on Sunday morning. Nineteen other personnel have been injured in the prolonged gunbattle. The forces managed to gun down four militants.
Explosions and gunfire erupted as the militants attacked the camp, which is located barely few metres away from the Army’s Brigade Headquarters in Uri town.
The attack took place around 4 am, officials said. The jawans of the Dogra Regiment were sleeping in a tent which caught fire due the explosion. The fire also engulfed the nearby barracks, sources said.
“A group of heavily armed terrorists targeted the rear administrative base of a unit at Uri, Kashmir. In the counter action, four terrorists have been eliminated and combing operations are in progress,” the Army said in a statement.
“The administrative base had large strength of troops of units turning over after their tour of duty who were stationed in tents/temporary shelters which caught fire, and resulted in heavy casualties. We salute the sacrifice of 17 soldiers who were martyred in the operation,” the statement said.
Helicopters from the Army’s 19 divisional headquarters in Baramulla have been pressed into service and the injured Army personnel have been evacuated from the encounter site, sources revealed.
The area has now been sealed off.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh called a high-level emergency meet in the wake of the attack. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary, top Army, paramilitary and Home Ministry officials are said to be attending the meet.
“I have given instructions to Home Secretary (Rajiv Mehrishi) and other officers in the Home Ministry to closely monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” the Home Minister said.
The Home Minister also cancelled his tour to Russia and US which was scheduled to begin later tonight.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief General Dalbir Suhag are on their way to Jammu and Kashmir.
The attack comes two years after militants had carried out a similar kind of attack at Mohra in the same area. Ten security personnel were killed in the attack that took place on December 5, 2014.
(With inputs from PTI)