Srigar, April 27: Guerrillas believed to be foreigners sneaked into an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday and killed three soldiers in an audacious pre-dawn attack that left two militants dead, officials said. Seven other soldiers were injured in the fighting that erupted after the insurgents at 4.30 a.m. cut through the two-layered barbed wire of the firing range at the Panzgam army camp in Kupwara district, some 120 km north of Srigar. Taking advantage of the surprise element, the attackers hurled gredes and fired indiscrimitely, causing the casualties. Two of the soldiers in hospital were said to be in critical condition. The army retaliated, killing two militants. A third reportedly escaped, triggering a massive search operation. In no time, crowds gathered outside the army camp shouting slogans and resorted to heavy stone throwing, the officials said. The army opened fire killing a 70-year-old civilian.
“The mob resorted to heavy stone throwing demanding the bodies of the slain militants,” an officer said. “The fidayeen terrorists attacked the Panzgam army camp close to the LoC (Line of Control)”, which divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan, Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told IANS. According to officials, the identify of the terrorists was being ascertained.
The dead soldiers included Captain Ayush Yadav from Kanpur, Subedar Bhoop Singh from Rajasthan and ik B.V. Raman from Visakhapatm. The injured were flown to Srigar for treatment.
Panzgam is the rear administrative area for over nine army units in Kupwara district and is spread over an area of 240,000 sq metres. (IANS)