JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Birth of baby girl to soldier's injured wife brings cheers to Army camp

INDIA-CONFLICT-PAKISTAN-KASHMIR Army soldiers take positions outside the residential quarters on the second day of a militant attack at Sunjwan Army camp in Jammu on Sunday | PTI

In the wee hours of February 10, four heavily-armed suicide attackers of Jaish-e-Muhammad sneaked into the Army Camp at Sunjwan in Jammu when most of the soldiers and their families were sleeping.

But the sentries were keeping a hawk's eye on the camp. As soon as they found a suspicious movement shadowing in the camp, they fired their guns.

The fidayeen made a quick dash toward the residences of the soldiers and fired indiscriminately.

The sound of heavy gunfire woke up the entire camp. It was evident that the camp was under attack.

The gunfire left sixteen people injured. Six of them, all soldiers from Jammu and Kashmir—five from Kashmir and one from Jammu—succumbed to the wounds.

The injured included nine women and children. Among them was heavily pregnant Shahzad Khan. The 24-year-old wife of soldier Nazir Ahmed Khan from Budgam in central Srinagar.  She was hit on the butt.  She started to bleed profusely and due to the pregnancy, her condition was deteriorating.

The young women were in need of immediate medical help that arrived after reinforcements from Army including the elite paras reached the spot.

The Army meticulously forced the attackers into a corner and then launched a quick rescue operation to remove the unarmed soldiers and their families to safety.

The operation was carried out cautiously. One by one, the Army cleared most of the 150 houses of officers and jawans.

Shahzada was hoping for help amid loud explosions and heavy gunfire.  Luckily for her, a team of soldiers reached there in the nick of time and rushed her to the military hospital. The doctors quickly shifted her to the theatre.

 “Army doctors worked through the night to save the life of a severely injured pregnant lady with a gunshot wound. She, through a cesarean section, delivered a baby girl,'' said defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand.

Shahzada's husband's happiness knew no bounds. Saddened by the loss of six soldiers, his colleagues, the arrival of the baby girl acted like a balm on the raw wounds.

The birth of the baby girl brought joy to the hospital and the entire Army in Jammu and Kashmir.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah wrote on the Twitter “Amidst the tragedy, reports of some good news - an injured wife of one of the soldiers delivered a baby in the Military hospital Jammu.”

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday visited the Army hospital, Satwari, and enquired about the condition of those injured in the attack.

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