Two heavily-armed militants stormed a police station in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, killing three security personnel and two civilians before being shot dead in the first terror attack since the PDP and BJP formed a coalition government in the state.
Chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said his government would not be deterred by the attack in the border district of Kathua, which also left at least a dozen people wounded. Seven CRPF personnel were among those wounded. “This (attack) is anti-Islamic and has nothing to do with Islam,” he told the Assembly.
"Two militants have been gunned down by our security forces. We admire and commend the work done by our security forces," Union home minister Rajnath Singh told Lok Sabha in a statement.
I want to congratulate the security forces who bravely managed to gun down the militants in Kathua: HM Rajnath Singh pic.twitter.com/1UHCveIH1q— ANI (@ANI_news) March 20, 2015
Police said the fidayeen squad gunned down a sentry and a CRPF man before entering Rajbagh police station, triggering a six-hour gunbattle barely 12 km from the international border with Pakistan. The gunfight ended around noon, leaving the police station walls pockmarked with bullet holes.
Wounded CRPF constable Bharat Prabhu said the militants in military-style combat uniform hijacked a jeep on the way from Jammu to Pathankot and sped towards Rajbagh police station, where they lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately. They killed a civilian by slitting his throat before taking his bike and held three people hostage to enter the police station before killing one of them.
Security personnel during an encounter with militants in Jammu. (PTI Photo)
It was the fourth attack in three years in Kathua and adjoining Samba district, carried out almost in a similar fashion. In all these attacks, the terrorists had most probably crossed the nearby international border, were dressed in army uniform and attacked security installations early in the morning.
Police sources said infiltration from across the border takes place through gaps where fencing is not possible because of topographical difficulties such as riverine areas and nullahs.
The districts of Kathua and Samba have been regular targets of militants because of their proximity to the border. Three army men died and an equal number of terrorists were killed in an attack a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Udhampur, last November.
Video:Gunbattle in Kathua
(With inputs from agencies)