The death of two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in a terrorist attack on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on Wednesday could have been prevented if forces and local authorities had acted on warnings from intelligence agencies months ago.
Sources said the Union home ministry warned the Jammu and Kashmir Police in May about a possible strike on Amarnath pilgrims on the highway where the terrorists opened fire at a BSF convoy and killed two soliders, injuring a dozen others.
Read: J-K: Pak militant Usman caught after attack on BSF convoy
Since the first inputs over two months ago, the ministry and the intelligence bureau sent multiple advisories about Udhampur being a possible target but no precautionary measures were taken.
This is the second major terror strike in the Udhampur district in four years. A car-bomb blast by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2011 killed one person and injured 10 others.
Villagers overpowered one Pakistani militant – identified as Mohammed Naved -- and retaliatory fire by BSF personnel killed his accomplice. Naved said he sneaked into India 12 days ago and is the first Pakistani terrorist to be captured alive since 26/11 mastermind Ajmal Kasab, who was hanged in 2012.
Read: I came here to kill, Pakistani militant captured in J-K says
The Udhampur ambush comes nine days after an attack in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district that left seven people dead. But such back-to-back attacks aren’t new in the region.
Terrorists carried out similar twin offensives on the Rajbagh police station in Kathua and an army camp in adjoining Samba district in March 2014. But Wednesday’s attack is unusual as it occurred in an otherwise-peaceful Udhampur district, the headquarters of the Indian Army’s Northern Command.
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In pics: 2 militants killed, 1 captured alive in Udhampur