J&K: After Reasi and Kathua attacks, terrorists fire at checkpost in Doda; 5 hurt

Police also released a sketch of terrorists in the Reasi bus attack

INDIA-KASHMIR-PAKISTAN-UNREST Army personnel look on during a search operation in Reasi after gunmen in Kashmir ambushed the bus packed with Hindu pilgrims | AFP

Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a third terror attack on Tuesday late at night in the Doda district after militants targetted a joint checkpost. Three security personnel were injured in the exchange of fire between terrorists and security forces.

The attack comes three days after the firing on a bus carrying pilgrims in Reasi, which saw nine people, including a toddler, die. Another attack was reported in the Kathua district on Tuesday which saw a suspected Pakistani terrorist being neutralised.

In Doda, the terrorists fired upon a joint checkpost of the 4 Rashtriya Rifles and police in the Chattergalla area on the Bhadarwah-Pathankot road. The injured security personnel, a special police official and five soldiers, have been taken to the command hospital in Udhampur. The gunfight was continuing on Wednesday morning too. 

The area has been under search and cordon operations since April 27, following the Basantgarh encounter in Udhampur district. Additional  forces were deployed after the firefight, and traffic on the Bhaderwah-Bani route was suspended. Tourists have been barred from entering Chattergala, and security has been increased throughout the region. The militants fled after the initial exchange of fire, and a massive manhunt is now underway.

Also Read | How LeT, JeM offshoots owned up Reasi terror attack but walked back after 2-year-old victim's picture drew ire

Kathua attack

Search is on for the second terrorist involved in the attack on civilians in Kathua. The Pakistani terrorist is said to be hiding in Saida Sukhal village near Koota Morhunder Hiranagar police station limits.

The police said with the assistance of the CRPF, they have cordoned off the area and are conducting a house-to-house search.

The attack happened on Tuesday evening when two recently infiltrated terrorists appeared in the Saida Sukhal village. They asked for water from several houses, raising villagers' suspicions. When villagers raised an alarm, the terrorists fired randomly, injuring one person, said police.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of Hiranagar and the Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) engaged the terrorists, resulting in the death of one terrorist who tried to lob a grenade at the police party. 

Dr Vijay Raina, Chief Medical Officer, Kathua says, "A CRPF personnel was brought dead to the hospital last night. Our entire team of doctors are present here to tackle any situation. Post-mortem to be conducted"

One family, consisting of a man and his wife, has been evacuated to a hospital. The husband, Omkar Nath, suffered an arm injury and is reported to be in stable condition, while his wife remains unhurt.

Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, Anand Jain, the terrorist was killed and the operation in the village near Koota Mode in the Hiranagar sector. He added that a rucksack and rifles were recovered from the possession of the slain terrorist whose identity and group affiliation were being ascertained.

Reasi attack bus PTI A crane being used to pull out the bus which plunged into a gorge following a terrorist attack on pilgrims, in Reasi | PTI

Jain added that the attack seemed to be a ploy to disturb the Amarnath Yatra. "As Amarnath yatra is approaching, this seems to be a ploy to disturb the yatra. One civilian is injured and there is no hostage situation," he added.

Reasi attack sketch The sketch released by the police | ANI

Union Minister Jitendra Singh also took to his official X handle and posted, "I am in continuous online contact with DC Kathua Rakesh Minhas in the wake of a terrorist attack on a house in village Saida in Hiranagar sector close to the International Border. I am also in touch with SSP Kathua Sh Anayat Ali Choudhary who is on the spot. The owner of the house that was attacked (name not to be disclosed) is also in touch on mobile phone. A joint police and para-military operation are going on. One terrorist neutralised so far. I and my office are in constant touch and keeping a close watch on the developments."

Reasi attack: Sketch released

The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday released a sketch of a terrorist involved in the attack on a bus carrying pilgrims in Reasi district. A reward of Rs 20 lakh has been announced for information about him.

The terrorists had opened fire at the 53-seater bus carrying pilgrims when it was en route from the Shiv Khori temple to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra near Teryath village in the Poni area. The bus, ferrying pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, plunged into a deep gorge following the gunfire, killing nine people and injuring 41 others.

"Reasi police announce a reward of Rs 20 lakh for any fruitful information about the whereabouts of the terrorist involved in the recent attack on the yatri bus in the area of Pouni," a police spokesman said.

The sketch of the terrorist was prepared based on the description given by eyewitnesses, he said and appealed to people to provide information. a man hunt is still in progress to locate and neutralise the terrorists. 

(With inputs from Tariq Bhat)

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