Soldier, 3 militants killed as Pakistan’s JeM storms BSF camp in Srinagar
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Soldier, 3 militants killed as Pakistan’s JeM storms BSF camp in Srinagar

Police sources said the three slain militants were from the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s ‘Afzal Guru squad’, raised by the outfit to avenge the hanging of the 2001 parliament attack convict.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2017 07:06 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
BSF camp,Srinagar BSF,BSF camp attack
Smoke billows out of the building where militants were believed to be hiding during an encounter with the security forces following their attack at a BSF camp, near the international airport in Srinagar on Tuesday. (Waseem Andrabi/HT Photo)

A Border Security Force (BSF) officer was killed in Kashmir on Tuesday as forces foiled a militant attempt to storm a paramilitary base close to the high-security Srinagar airport, sparking an hours-long gun-battle that left all three radicals dead.

Three others security personnel also sustained injuries in the early morning attack, claimed by the Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), blamed for similar strikes at Indian security bases including one at Uri in September last year that killed 18 soldiers.

“All the three militants have been killed. An assistant sub-inspector of BSF also died in the initial assault,” Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid said.

Tuesday’s attack was the latest in Kashmir which has seen a spurt in militancy, often blamed on Pakistan-based outfits by India. Last month, India described Pakistan as “terroristan” in a fiery attack on Islamabad’s proxy war in Kashmir.

The attack also came amid heightened tensions along the Line of Control (LoC), the de factor border with Pakistan.

India summoned Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner and issued a demarche over the death of three minors in “unprovoked firing” by Pakistani forces in the Poonch sector on Monday.

“503 such violations (of 2003 ceasefire understanding) have been carried out by Pakistan forces so far during 2017,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement in Delhi.

The opposition Congress accused the BJP-led NDA government of compromising national security.

Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Prime Minister Narendra Modi ran a high-decibel campaign in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, depicted by “56-inches chest and red eyes sloganeering” to deal with terror and security threats.

Forces mount retaliation
Militants entered the BSF camp cutting through the wires and fencing
4:15 am Firing starts at BSF camp from Gagoo near airport
Police says quick response teams of BSF responded
4:20 am Police says first militant killed as he enters the camp
4:25am Locals hear sound of blasts
Airport officials start emergency siren
4:30am One militant enters the subordinate officers (SOS) mess and another enters the administrative block
5:00 am CRPF and J&K police also join the BSF in the gunfight
Locals hear dozens of vehicles entering the camp
5:05 am Authorities deploy hundreds of forces which surround the airport
7:55 am JeM claims responsibility
10:30am Second militant firing for SOS mess killed. Police also confirm the death of a BSF personnel injured while militants were entering
2:00 pm Third militant also killed

“But after 40 months, our internal security situation stands gravely in peril,” he alleged.

Inspector general of police (Kashmir range) Muneer Khan admitted that “six to seven” militants of a group which infiltrated between July and August were still at large and were potential threats.

Police sources said the three slain militants were from the JeM’s ‘Afzal Guru squad’, raised by the outfit to avenge the hanging of the 2001 parliament attack convict.

On August 26, at least eight security personnel were killed in a similar attack by the JeM in Pulwama.

The attack at the BSF’s 182 battalion camp was at a highly sanitised area where an Indian Air Force base, a CRPF camp and an NIA office are located, besides the Srinagar airport.

Flights at the airport, which shares a compound wall with the base, resumed after being suspended briefly, officials said.

Sources said the militants entered the camp in army fatigue and were carrying automatic weapons and grenades.

Khan said the militants, who intruded into the camp around 4am after cutting through the concertina wires and fence, entered two separate buildings -- the administrative block and subordinate officers mess. He said one militant was killed at the gate while two managed to get inside the camp where they were shot dead later.

(With inputs from HTC Delhi and agencies)

First Published: Oct 03, 2017 22:26 IST