New Delhi: Heavily armed militants, allegedly from Pakistan, yesterday killed 12 persons in the northern state Jammu and Kashmir.
Four individuals dressed in army fatigues first attacked a police station before entering an army camp. Among those killed include six policemen, four soldiers and two civilians. Unconfirmed reports suggest three insurgents were also killed as the army retaliated.
"Four terrorists entered Jammu region from across the border this morning," home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said yesterday.
A spokesman later said the army had foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control in Keran sector of Kupwara district on Wednesday and around 30 militants were still trapped as security forces had cordoned off the area, sealing their exit routes.
Heavily-armed assailants first attacked the Hiranagar police station in Kathua district at about 6.45am. Hiranagar is situated about 7km from the Line of Control. They shot dead a sentry outside and killed three policemen after entering the police station before escaping in a truck that was parked outside.
The gunmen drove the hijacked truck to an army camp in the adjoining Samba district, walked into the officers' mess shouting jihadi slogans and killed five unarmed soldiers including a lieutenant-colonel who was shot in the stomach twice. He has been identified as Lieutenant-Colonel Bikramjeet Singh, the second in command of the 16 Cavalry.
According to reports, nearly a dozen other persons also sustained injuries in the resultant gunfire that followed in what is being termed as the worst insurgent attack in the strife-torn state in the recent times.
It is widely believed that the attack was aimed at derailing the upcoming India-Pakistan talks. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is slated to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York on September 29 in a bid to resume the stalled bilateral dialogue between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah minced no words in saying that India should not call off the proposed dialogue since it would be akin to victory of the "terrorists" who do not want the two countries to forge friendly ties in future.
India's principal opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however said that this was no time to talk peace.
"The prime minister is in a hurry to start dialogue with Pakistan. There should be no talks with Pakistan unless there is a conducive environment," BJP president Rajnath Singh said.
(c) 2013 Al Nisr Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com
Original headline: Militants kill 12 in Jammu and Kashmir
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