FIVE HEAVILY armed militants were killed as the Army foiled a major infiltration attempt along the Line of Control (LoC), near Dulunja village in Uri sector, Army officers said on Monday.
The militants, suspected to be from the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), had used a boat to cross the Jhelum river, which forms the LoC ahead of Uri’s ‘Red Bridge’, and a kilometre before Kaman Post.
Giving details of the operation, Brigadier Y S Ahlawat said a major infiltration bid by a “fidayeen” group had been foiled. “A major tragedy has been averted on Army Day and the run-up to the Republic Day celebrations. The infiltration bid was made on the night of January 14-15, along the Jhelum river. Alert Army personnel picked up the movement as the terrorists were moving along the banks of the Jhelum, and tracked them as they crossed the river in a boat towards our side,’’ he said.
He said while four militants were killed on the spot, the body of another militant, along with the boat, was lying on the other side of the Jhelum. “When a search operation was launched in the morning, four bodies were recovered while a fifth body is lying across the Jhelum, on the banks, near the boat which they had used to cross the river,’’ he said.
He said four AK-47 rifles, three underbarrel grenade launchers (UBGLs), 38 UBGL grenades, 23 hand grenades, nine IEDs and “war-like stores” were recovered. “This is the first infiltration bid of 2018, and has been successfully foiled. The Army continues with its resolve to keep strict vigil along the LoC and foil Pakistan’s nefarious designs,” he said.
A senior police officer in north Kashmir said the militants were associated with the JeM, and the recovery of arms and ammunition indicated that they were “fidayeen” who were planning a big attack. “We are investigating the identities of the slain militants,” he said. “Keeping in view the topography and vigil, the militants could have only one thing in mind — to storm any Army installation,” he said.
The Jammu & Kashmir Police and other intelligence agencies have received inputs that militants are planning a big attack on the eve of Republic Day celebrations, said sources.
Last month, suspected JeM militants attacked a CRPF camp in Lethpora, south Kashmir, killing five paramilitary personnel. In September 2016, militants sneaked into the administrative complex of Uri Brigade headquarters and killed 18 soldiers. In December 2014, eight soldiers and three policemen were killed when militants targeted an artillery camp near Mohura.