A Border Security Force (BSF) man was killed and another injured in the attack on the 46 Rashtriya Rifles battalion headquarters on the outskirts of Baramulla late Sunday night.
Baramulla Superintendent of Police Imtiyaz Hussein said that two to four militants tried to attack the camp, but were beaten back by personnel guarding the perimeter.
“The militants could not enter the camp. They fled towards civilian areas taking advantage of the darkness. The Army wanted to avoid civilian causalities and exercised maximum restraint,” Hussein said.
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So far no militant group has claimed responsibility for the incident.
Senior BSF and police officers paid tributes to constable Nitin Kumar, who was killed in the attack. The body was then sent to Kumar’s hometown in UP.
According to officials, the attack began around 10.20 pm on Sunday and firing continued for two hours. The Army, BSF and Special Operation Group of J&K Police then launched a search for the militants.
The search was called off at 9 am on Monday after the officials were convinced that the attackers had fled to civilian areas.
The camp is flanked on two sides by residential areas, while the Jhelum flows behind it. In front of the camp lies the main highway that connects Baramulla town with Handwara and Kupwara. One company of the BSF is deployed inside the Army camp, and the paramilitary force has its own bunkers in the camp’s rear side. Sources said it was here that the militants — who possibly came from a newly established residential colony close to the camp and used the same route to escape — faced the first retaliation from troops.
A defence ministry spokesperson told The Indian Express that the attack was foiled by alert BSF personnel.
Locals living nearby said the firing continued for about two hours. “Initially we thought it was happening across the river, but then we heard shouts and firing from the camp,’’ said Javid Ahmad Buhroo, a local resident.
Following the attack, security at nearby Army installations has been strengthened and a fresh SOP issued to the units.
This is the second attack on the Baramulla camp, which is responsible for anti-militancy operations in Baramulla town and for protecting the offices and residential complexes of officers of 19 Infantry Division.
In 2000, four militants were killed in a fidayeen attack on the same camp.