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Days after govt alert, infiltration bid foiled

The army foiled an infiltration bid on Saturday and killed three terrorists on the border with Pakistan as concerns mounted in Delhi of Pakistan-backed terrorists making renewed attempts to carry out a major attack around the time US President Barack Obama visits India.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2010 23:24 IST
HT Correspondents

The army foiled an infiltration bid on Saturday and killed three terrorists on the border with Pakistan as concerns mounted in Delhi of Pakistan-backed terrorists making renewed attempts to carry out a major attack around the time US President Barack Obama visits India.

The foiled infiltration bid came a day after security forces gunned down three top terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the suburbs of Srinagar and the home ministry spoke about more than 70 terrorists waiting at the Indo-Pak border to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir.

“An infiltration bid was foiled by the troops in Uri sector in the wee hours. So far, three militants have been killed and the operation is still in progress,” the Jammu and Kashmir-based defence spokesperson Lt Colonel J.S. Brar said. The troops noticed a group of militants trying to sneak into the Indian side from Pakistan territory.

Government sources said they weren’t surprised at the increase in terrorist activity in the backdrop of Obama’s visit and expected a major terror strike. “During every US presidential visit, we have had a terrorist problem. We shall expect that on this trip, too,” a government source said on Saturday.

Suspected Lashkar-e-Tayyeba terrorists had gunned down 36 Sikhs in Chattisinghpora village in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district during the March 2000 visit of then President Bill Clinton.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had spoken with optimism on Friday when he emphasised there had been no terror strike during US President George W. Bush’s visit.

That optimism might be misplaced. The source said a similar plan for a big strike was drawn up by terrorist handlers across the border during the Bush visit. But Indian forces had been able to foil them.

The big strikes — aimed at grabbing international headlines — coinciding with a US presidential visit were aimed at bringing the focus back on Kashmir. Also, “the message being sent to Washington is that you need to get involved”.