Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart in New York, Fidayeen militants struck with vengeance and carried out two audacious attacks on security force's installations in Kathua and Samba districts in Jammu division.
Nine people, including an army officer, were killed on Thursday when separatist guerrillas mounted an audacious attack on a police station in Jammu region and commandeered a truck which they drove into an army camp where soldiers took them on.
Four cops, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, were killed and another ASI was injured in the attack that also left a civilian dead.
DIG Shakeel Baig said five persons have been killed in the suicide attack.
The first attack started at 6.45 am when three to four militants dressed in army fatigues came in an auto rickshaw and attacked the police station Hira Nagar.
“They first killed the sentry and later entered the police station killing three others”, said Rajesh Kumar. IGP, Jammu.
The militants later commandeered a truck and shot at its conductor. They took the driver along and moved to Samba where they abandoned the vehicle and attacked the army camp of 16 cavalry regiment injuring a trooper.
The quick reaction teams of the army immediately engaged the group of ultras triggering a massive encounter.
According to initial reports, two to three army jawans have been injured in the firing by the militants, who later barged inside the army camp.
The heavy gunbattle is going on, the DIG, who is supervising the operation on the spot, said.
“It seems they boarded a second vehicle after abandoning the first and entered the army camp. So far, there are six casualties”, said Kumar.
Police are not ruling out the possibility that the attackers might have freshly sneaked from the international border with the purpose to carry out the attack. “We cannot rule out fresh infiltration”, Kumar said.
Police sources said the attack was carried out at a time when the policemen were yet to start their day’s duty.
Such was the audacity of the attack that the militants came and almost ran over the station which is just few kilometers from the international border.
* Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh on Thursday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for politicising the militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir.
* Condemning the attack, the Pakistan High Commission issued the following statement on Thursday:
Terrorism is a pernicious evil. Pakistan has been its foremost victim. We are committed to leaving no stone unturned to eliminate the spectre of terrorist violence from our society and our region.
Pakistan strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Our hearts go out in sympathy to the families of all those who fell victim to the acts of terrorist violence in Jammu today.
It is imperative that senseless act of violence do not deter us from pursuing a path to a better future for our peoples.
* Defence Minister AK Antony on Thursday denounced the terror attack in Jammu and said security forces will deal with the killers with a firm hand.
* Another commanding officer injured as gunbattle rages on in J&K: Official sources.
* Amid demands by BJP to call off talks with Pakistan after the twin terror attacks in Jammu region, Congress on Thursday said that "dialogue is the only way to tackle issues".
* A lesser-known militant outfit 'Shohada Brigade' on Thursday claimed responsibility for the twin attacks in Jammu region.
* Four terrorists entered Jammu region from across the border this morning: Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde says quoting preliminary information.
* Describing the terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir as extremely unfortunate, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said there is no point in having talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as the latter has no control over his army or the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
* BJP President Rajnath Singh asked why the Prime Minister is in a "hurry" to meet Nawaz Sharif. The two leaders are due to meet in New York on September 29 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
* Reacting to the brazen attack, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "Terror attack in Jammu is an attack on peace. This is one more in a series of provocations and barbaric actions by the enemies of peace."
Singh also conveyed "heartfelt condolences to families of civilians and martyrs."
"The attack is carried out by terrorists, who continue to receive encouragement and reinforcement from across the border," said Singh.
* Unconfirmed reports say that two terrorists have been killed in the ongoing gunbattle.
* The Congress Party on Thursday condemned the twin militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, and said it is aimed at obstructing the peace talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
* Condemning the twin terror attacks, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said, "It's an attempt to derail proposed peace talks between India and Pakistan. There is pressure on PM to call off talks but we are committed to the peace process."
Addressing a press conference, Omar said, "Toll in the jammu terror attacks has increased to 12. This could be an infiltration bid which may have taken place in the last 12-24 hours."
Stressing on the importance of dialogue between India and Pakistan, he said, "Soldiers, police personnel laid down their lives for peace, so dialogue is essential."
* Officiating defence spokesperson in Jammu SN Acharya tells dna, "Three army personnel, including a Lt Col and two jawans, have been killed and three others have been injured in the operation." The gun fight is still on.
* Confirming the terrorist attack, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that first a police station was attacked and now militants have attacked an Army camp.
Shinde said information is being collected on the terror attack in Jammu. "There has been an attack on a police station and an army camp...we are collecting information," the home minister told reporters.
* Twitter was agog with reactions at the timing and viciousness of the attacks. Here is what the Twitteratti had to say:
Jammu attack ab neta kahenge kade kadam uthane honge. kab uthayenge pata nahi..2 din baad sub bhul jayenge— jimmykhan (@jimmykhan7) September 26, 2013
This attack in Samba and Kathua is worrisome. Shows Jammu region also continues to have active terrorist apparatus.— Rahul B (@rahulbagati) September 26, 2013
As the PM meets nawaz sharif in US today, terrorists attack jammu. Reminds me of the chittisinghpur massacre of 99.— Niharika tagotra (@niha_2389) September 26, 2013
Shame shame its terrorist attack in Jammu :(— Jr. Mishra ji (@mishrakesh) September 26, 2013
Indian PM should talk to Pakistani PM in spite of today's attack in Jammu n ask him to stop all terrorists activity or else.......— Anindita (@aneesinha) September 26, 2013
"While our PM is excited to meet Nawaz Sharif, their ppl attack our police station in Jammu. Our soldiers once again lose their lives. SAD."— Abhishek Singh (@Abhiptna) September 26, 2013
Terror attack on army camp n police near jammu. Several casualties. Obvious attempt to derail PM level talks.— Gurmeet Kanwal (@gurmeetkanwal) September 26, 2013
Today only the PM should take up the Jammu attack with Pakistan, No talks other than these attacks— रचित Seth (@rachitseth) September 26, 2013
Was today's terror attack in Jammu really a surprise ahead of @PMOIndia & Nawaz Sharif meeting? We know who doesn't want it to go ahead.— Pierre Fitter (@pierrefitter) September 26, 2013
* Meanwhile, Congress leader condemned the attack on Twitter:
Condemn Militant attack in Jammu. Pakistan and India both victims of Terror must come together to fight them instead of blaming each other— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) September 26, 2013
* The militants are now inside the camp and firing is going on. They shot one army man who was guarding the camp," Rajesh Kumar, Inspector General of Police for the Jammu range.
* Prime Minister Manmohan Singh confirms that he will meet Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif this weekend.
* BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar says, "We condemn the twin dastardly attacks. This shows that Pakistan continues on its strategy to strike at will through this proxy war of terror. Talks between Indian PM & Pakistan PM is not called for, terror and talks cannot happen at the same time."
He aslo said, "The Prime Minister had himself assured the nation through both Houses of Parliament after 26/11 and after beheading of two soldiers that second time we will not hold talks with Pakistan till it takes minimal action against terror."
* Jammu Pathankote highway has been sealed and massive security forces deployments have been made to maintain order and keep ultras at bay.
* Chaos and panic has gripped the entire area and traffic on the Pathankote-Jammu highway has been halted.
* Two Army jawans injured, three militants enter the camp.
* One trooper injured. The gun fight is still on. The attack has come at a time when PM Manmohan Singh is all set to meet his Pakistani counterpart in New York this weekend.
* Later militants hijacked the truck and moved towards Samba. They were intercepted but they managed to enter the army camp and launched a second fidayeen attack.
* "All the injured have suffered critical splinter and bullet injuries. Senior police and army officials have rushed to the spot and reinforcements have also been rushed to tackle the situation," police sources said.
* Police sources said, "Militants used grenades and automatic weapons to attack the Hira Nagar police station today (Thursday) morning. Five police personnel, and two civilians have been injured in this attack."
* Militants indiscriminately fire at the policemen and also use grenades and automatic weapons to attack the police station. The attack was carried out at 6.30 am. Police sources said the attack was so audacious that they ran over the police station.
* Fidayeen militants dressed in army fatigues attacked a police station in Hira Nagar in Kathua district in Jammu killing seven people including five cops. The police station is barely 7 km away from the international border.
-Dressed in army fatigues, Terrorists stormed a police station and then an army camp in Jammu region killing 10 people including an army officer in twin 'fidayeen' attacks after they sneaked in from across the border early today, barely three days ahead of a meeting between Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan.
The three heavily armed terrorists, believed to be from banned Pakistan-based terror group LeT and who were holed up in the camp of the cavalry armoured unit at Samba for several hours after they barged into the Officers mess, have been killed during a fierce gunfight, Army officials said in Delhi.
The bodies of the three terrorists aged between 16 and 19 are in the custody of the Army, they said.
In the worst terror attack on a security establishment in Jammu region in 10 years, officials said six people including four policemen were killed in the 'fidayeen'(suicide) strike on the police station in Hiranagar in Kathua close to International Border(IB) by the terrorists while four army personnel including a Lieutenant Colonel died at Samba camp.
"As per preliminary information, the four terrorists came from across the border," Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters in Delhi. A police official said it was a case of "fresh infiltration" and the terrorists crossed the IB most probably in the wee hours of today.
Lt Col Bikramjeet Singh, the second-in-command of the unit stationed at the camp, was among the four slain Army personnel.
The unit's Commanding Officer (CO) Col A Uthaiah, who was among the three injured at the Army Camp, has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit(ICU) at a hospital in Pathankot.
A lesser-known militant outfit 'Shohada Brigade' claimed responsibility for the attack.
"We carried out the attacks in Kathua and Samba in Jammu region," a person who identified himself as Sami-ul-Haq, the spokesperson of the outfit, told PTI on phone. He claimed they were locals.
J and K DGP Ashok Prasad said the terrorists had boarded an auto at gun point from Hariya Chuk graveyard in village Jhandi, barely one km from the IB and asked the driver Roshan Lal to take the vehicle to an Army camp at Hiranagar.
Unable to locate the camp, the terrorists stormed the police station at 6.45 AM hurling grenades where they killed a sentry at the gate and then an ASI Ratan Singh and a Special Police Officer. A constable, who was resting on the second floor of the police station, was also gunned down in the indiscriminate firing, Police said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif are due to meeet in New York on September 29 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.-PTI
* All three ultras in J&K terror attack killed, search operations over.