Two soldiers, a junior commissioned officer and a non-commissioned officer, were killed and nine others, including five women and children, were injured—two of them critically—after suicide attackers of Jaish-e-Muhammad stormed the Army camp at Sunjwan in Jammu at 4.10 am this morning.
The operation continued through out the day as the Army acted with caution and restraint to safeguard the lives of unarmed soldiers and their family members in their houses inside the camp.
Most of the unarmed soldiers and their family members were rescued by the Army after cornering the attackers.
The Army also flew special forces, Paras, from Udhampur to clear the camp of the militants. The pace of the operation was kept slow to avoid any harm to the soldiers and their families in the houses.
By evening, the Army said it had neutralised two attackers and cleared most of the 150 houses of the soldiers.
Defence spokesman Lt Colonel Devender Ananad said in a statement as part of the ongoing operation at Sunjwan in Jammu that the Army has killed two heavily armed terrorists.
Anand said the terrorists were wearing combat dress and were carrying AK 56 rifles.
He said the search of the belongings of the two terrorists confirm the two belong to Jaish.
He said most of the 150 houses have been cleared and occupants moved to safety.
He said so far a JCO and an NCO, both from Jammu and Kashmir have been martyred and nine others, including five women and children, injured. Two of them are critical. Operation will continue till all terrorist are apprehended or killed.
The fidayeen entered the camp from its rear side and started firing indiscriminately.
In the initial attack, Subedar Madan Lal Chowdhry, his daughter Neha, and Lance Naik Bhadur Singh were injured. The Army responded to the attack quickly and restricted the attackers' movement.
In the ensuing encounter, Subdedar Muhamamd Ashraf Mir, Colonel Rohit Solanki, commanding officer of 6 Mahar and Havladar Abdul Hamid, Major Abhijit, Lance Naik Bhadur Singh were injured.
Lal and Mir succumbed to their injuries. The Army cordoned off the area and called for the reinforcements.
The camp under attacks also houses residential quarters. Great effort was made by the Army to rescue the families of the soldiers.
The attack on the camp was first reported by a woman who called the Police Control Room and said four to five fidayeen had attacked the camp. She also said that her husband was also seriously injured in the attack and needs immediate evacuation.
A defence spokesman in a statement said in the early hours after a brief exchange of fire with the sentry on periphery some terrorists entered the accommodation complex in Sunjwan military camp.
He said the Quick Response Team have cordoned off the area and isolated the terrorists who are holed up in a few houses.
The attack on the Sujwan camp came amid intelligence reports about a possible suicide attack by Jaish militants to mark the fifth death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Muhammad Afzal Guru who was hanged on February 9, 2013.
This is also the second attack on the Sunjwan camp after 15 years. Nearly a dozen soldiers were killed when militant attacked the camp in 2003.
Today's attack comes 13 months after militants barged into the Army camp at Nagrota on the outskirts of Jammu.
The Jaish militant, it seems, selected their target carefully as the forces were anticipating an attack on a security camp in Kashmir valley.
NC member raises pro-Pak slogans
In the wake of the attack on the Army camp, Speaker of J&K Assembly Kavinder Gupta adjourned the session for 15 minutes.
Gupta attributed Saturday attack to illegal immigrants—from Rohingya and Bangladesh.
The BJP legislators raised anti-Pakistan slogans in the assembly after the house was informed about the attack. Shockingly, Akbar Lone of National Conference raised pro-Pakistan slogans which has been widely condemned by many including his own party leaders.
Later in the day, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti chaired a high-level security meeting in Jammu which was attended by J&K DGP S.P. Vaid and personnel from other security agencies.
The meeting was informed about the progress to clear the camp from militants and tighten the security of security installations across the state.