A day after fifth death anniversary of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the suicide squad militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad stormed the heavily fortified Sunjuwan army camp in Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, on the wee hours of Saturday, killing two Junior Commissioned Officers and injuring nine others while the operation to flush out the militants is going on.
The Army in its response has killed two heavily armed terrorists so far, while recovering large amount of ammunition & hand grenades, said defence sources.
The militants barged into the army brigade headquarters at Sunjuwan, Jammu from the rear side at around 4.45 am today, said IGP Jammu. He said the army men deployed on guard in the camp opened fire on the militants.
Sources said a group of 2-4 militants stormed into the army camp, which is spread over many acres of land and has many residential quarters and a school, by cutting the concertina wire on the rear said.
Security forces and police have cordoned off the area around the Sunjuwan Army camp. The camp falls under the first Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in 36 brigade .
Intelligence inputs had warned an attack on the army or security establishment by Jaish-e-Mohammed in view of the death anniversary of Afzal Guru who was hanged on February 9, 2013.
Sources said once inside the camp, militants split into groups and one group forced their entry into the family quarters after firing from automatic weapons and lobbing grenades.
“Three army men including a JCO and his daughter were injured in the militant and evacuated to hospital. The critically injured JCO has succumbed to injuries,” sources said adding condition of JCO’s daughter is critical.
Sources said the Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) of army and police commandos have launched an operation to flush out the militants from the army camp.
Soon after the attack, reinforcements of the Army’s special forces and SOG rushed to the spot and cordoned off the whole area amid a fierce gunfight, security official said.
“The security forces are meticulously planning the operation to avoid casualties as families of soldiers and officers are present in the residential quarters,” sources said.
They said militants may be affiliated to Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Afzal Guru Squad.
Afzal Guru was secretly hanged and buried in Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 9, 2013 for his role in 2001 parliament attack case.
The State was on high alert in the wake of Afzal Guru’s fifth death anniversary yesterday and there were intelligence reports that militants were planning attacks on security forces camps and installations.
In view of the fidayeen attack, authorities have closed all schools within five kilometers radius of the army camp.
Besides, police, CRPF and army men have launched combing operations in the adjoining areas.
The top security officials are camping in the area.
The attack has taken place at a time when ceasefire violations by Pakistan troops have surged and J&K Assembly is in session in Jammu.
The same army camp was attacked by militants in 2003. At least 12 soldiers were killed in the militant attacks.
It is also the second attack on army installation in Jammu in two years.
Last year, the militants had stormed an army camp in Nagrota in which at least eight soldiers were killed.
According to a news agency report, Gunshots were heard inside the Sunjwan Army camp on Saturday morning.
Jammu’s IGP SD Singh Jamwal said that around 4:55 am suspicious movement was noticed.
The number of terrorists inside the camp isn’t known. They have been cornered in one of the family quarters.
Militants had attacked the same army station in 2006. Twelve soldiers were killed and seven others were injured in that attack before the two ‘fidayeen’ (suicide attack) terrorists were killed.
On a related note, an alert advisory had been issued in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the death anniversaries of Parliament attack convict Muhammad Afzal Guru and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder Maqbool Bhat.
The advisory was issued after the JKLF announced to stage a protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat on February 9 and February 11.