Minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre on Monday said 17 soldiers died in the Uri terror attack, denying reports that three more had succumbed to their injuries. However, the army later said another soldier succumbed to his injuries, taking the death toll to 18.
Bhamre said most of the injured were suffering from severe burns and being treated in the Valley, but three soldiers were brought to the RR Army Hospital in New Delhi.
“The entire nation is traumatised right now as we lost 17 brave soldiers,” he told ANI. “No condemnation is enough for this cowardly act. The whole nation is united in this hour of grief.
“The Prime Minister, home minister and defence minister have all come to the conclusion that a response needs to be given to Pakistan.”
In a statement, the army said a group of heavily armed militants targeted the rear administrative base of a unit at Uri on Sunday morning, and in the counter action, four terrorists were eliminated.
“The administrative base had a 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,” the statement added.