A soldier was killed after militants attacked an Army camp in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district — the first fatality in a militant attack since the Centre suspended operations in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan.
Three more soldiers were injured in a separate incident when militants detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Shopian.
On March 16, the Centre had asked security forces not to launch operations in the state to allow Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment. On May 18, there was a brief exchange of fire between militants and the Army in north Kashmir’s Hajin, but there were no casualty on either sides.
On Sunday night, a group of militants fired indiscriminately on the camp of 50 Rashtriya Rifles at Kakapora village, leaving a soldier and a civilian seriously injured, officials said. The two succumbed at a hospital later in the night, they added.
Confirming the attack, Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia on Monday said: “… terrorists carried out a stand-off attack on Kakapora Army camp… One soldier martyred (in the attack).”
The civilian, Bilal Ahmad Ganaie — a driver and resident of Norwa village in Pulwama — was killed in crossfire, police said.
According to sources, the Army had launched cordon and search operations in two neighbouring villages soon after the attack, but the militants managed to escape.
Less than 10 hours after the Pulwama attack, an Army vehicle was targeted by suspected militants in Shopian early Monday morning in which three soldiers, including an officer, were injured. Militants detonated an IED on the Turkawangam-Shopian road near Sugan village while an Army vehicle of 44 Rashtriya Rifles was passing by. The militants managed to escape, officials said.
Suspected militants barged into Mahind branch of Jammu and Kashmir Bank in Anantnag and robbed Rs 1.72 lakh. The suspected militants also snatched a .12 bore rifle from the bank guards.