A heavily armed group of militants stormed an army camp Tuesday night in Hajin, firing automatic rifles and exploding grenades fired from under barrel launchers. No loss of life was reported till late into the night. Police said, “firing at Hajin has stopped. Area is being searched. No loss of life and property reported.”
The attack, second since New Delhi announced cessation of operations against militants for the month of Ramadhan, was carried out around 8:20 pm.
According to witnesses the militants, believed to be more than three in number, attacked the camp of army’s 23 Rashtriya Rifles from three sides. The camp has a police station and an SOG camp in the vicinity.
The militants lobbed several grenades using UBGLs on the army camp followed with heavy firing from two sides.
Initially, it was believed the attackers barged into the RR camp, police sources however said later the attack was repulsed and militants have fled.
Police and army officials said it was not a suicide attack as believed earlier. “It was not a suicide attack. The firing has stopped and the combing operation is on. There was no loss of life,” a police official said. The army termed the attack as “standoff” saying the troops retaliated. However, while the firing was on for more than half an hour, a separate group of militants, according to locals, appeared in local mosque in main market at Mir Mohall and while raising pro-freedom slogans, appealed to people of the town to come out. In no time the people were out on roads responding with high pitched pro-freedom slogans, in support of the militants.
Since the ‘Ramadhan ceasefire” Kashmir has witnessed a surge in grenade attacks and hit-and-run attacks, particularly in south Kashmir. More than four dozen people including security forces have been injured in such attacks.
“Terrorist attack on army camp, IED attack against army vehicle, 10+grenade attacks in recent days. Who was it who was saying militancy in Kashmir was dying and its last stages?#remind me,” tweeted former chief minister Omar Abdullah soon after the attack.—GK