Bloody end to successful year of Op All Out
5 CRPF men martyred, 3 terrorists killed in suicide attack in South Kashmir
TNN Bureau. Updated: 12/31/2017 11:39:10 PM

SRINAGAR: A year which saw massive success against militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, with over 200 terrorists eliminated by security forces under the operation All Out, ended with a major suicide attack as heavily armed ultras stormed inside a CRPF camp in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, killing five personnel of the force and injuring three others, in a pre-dawn attack.

Two terrorists, both local, have been killed by the forces and their bodies recovered, while the intermittent firing was still going on till the filing of this report.

The forces said that one terrorist is believed to be holed up in building block, while body of another is yet to be recovered.

“Heavily armed terrorists stormed the camp at about 2 am last night. They were armed with under- barrel grenade launchers and automatic weapons. They were challenged by camp sentries," CRPF spokesperson Rajesh Yadav said, adding the terrorists fired indiscriminately injuring as many as eight CRPF personnel, among who five had succumbed to their injuries.

"Five CRPF jawans have been martyred and three others are injured. The bodies of two terrorists have also been recovered. We believe another terrorist has also been killed but the body has not been retrieved," Yadav said.

The deceased personnel have been identified as Inspector Kuldip Roy from Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh), Head Constable Taufail Ahmed of Rajouri (J&K), constables Sharief-ud-din Ganaie of Chadoora in Budgam (J&K), Rajendra Nain of Churu (Rajasthan) and P K Panda of Sundargarh (Odisha).

Among these Roy died of heart attack during the gunbattle, while the four others succumbed to bullet injuries.

The injured personnel are constables Narendra Kumar, Malam Samadhan and Mala Ram, Yadav said.

This is first time local terrorists carried out a suicide attack, which has been claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e- Mohammed.

Yadav said the two terrorists are Manzoor Ahmad Baba from Drubgam (Pulwama) and Fardeen Ahmad Khanday from Nazeempora (Tral). Khanday is the son a serving policeman.

The paramilitary force's officials in Delhi said the two terrorists are reportedly from Jaish-e-Mohammed and their bodies have been recovered with arms and ammunition. Also, in a statement issued to news agencies here, the JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

"One or two terrorists are still holed up but firing has stopped. Forces are still continuing the search operation," he said.

Terming the attack "unfortunate", Jammu and Kashmir's Director General of Police S P Vaid said security forces had input about an imminent militant strike in the Kashmir Valley for the past three days.

He said as long as Pakistan keeps sending militants, security forces and people of Kashmir will continue to go through this.

"There was an input from the last two-three days. They (militants) were trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night," Vaid told reporters here.

The CRPF camp also serves as training centre for troops inducted for counter-militancy operations in the Kashmir Valley.

A Jammu and Kashmir Police team is also co-located with CRPF in this camp.

Meanwhile, the Congress today slammed the government over the terror attack, saying it was a sign of failure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foreign policy.

Party spokesperson Sushmita Dev said here that such recurring attacks send a message that anti-national forces do not fear India.

During elections, Modi says India is a strong nation. But the number of casualties in ceasefire violations was going up, Dev said at a press conference.

"It is a sign of failure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foreign policy," she said, adding the Congress wanted him to take strong steps to deter India's external and internal enemies.

Modi had claimed he had a 56-inch chest and that he would teach Pakistan a lesson, Dev said.

"What that lesson could be he should decide. The Congress will support him if he takes any step in the interest of the nation. But he must do something immediately."

Citing a report on a "secret dialogue" between national security advisers of India and Pakistan, she said the government should inform Parliament about the dialogue it was engaging in concerning defence and foreign policy.

"You have a talk after Christmas and an attack happened today in Pulwama. We are unable to accept these two. We do not oppose dialogue (with Pakistan) but what is the result of this if an attack dampens the image of the country in the world," Dev said.

She said the Congress expected the Modi government to have "consistency" in its foreign policy.

"We have been repeatedly saying India is coming across as a nation with a wishy washy foreign policy. India is being increasingly taken more and more lightly," she said.

The government, by taking the Opposition along, should give a message to the world at large that "India cannot be taken lightly", she said and added such incidents put the country in a "weak light".

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