Two soldiers of the Army’s Quick Reaction Team succumbed to bullet injuries Thursday afternoon after two militants opened indiscriminate fire at a convoy deployed on the road at Zainakote in Srinagar’s suburbs, less than 2 km from the headquarters of the counter-insurgency Kilo Force.
J&K Police sources told The Indian Express that a joint search operation has been launched to nab the gunmen who were armed with automatic weapons, wearing combat fatigues and travelling in a Maruti car in the high-security zone. Police suspect that the attackers were Pakistani terrorists from the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
“Terrorists fired indiscriminately at the Quick Reaction Team of Indian Army in Aban Shah Chowk, HMT, Khushipora, Srinagar today afternoon. Two soldiers were critically injured and were evacuated to the nearest medical facility. However, they succumbed to their injuries,” Defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said.
J&K Police said the soldiers who died were from the Territorial Army and identified them as Sepoy Ratan (163 Battalion) and Sepoy Deshmukh (101 Battalion).
The Kashmir Valley, especially Srinagar city and its outskirts, has seen at least five such “shoot and run” attacks this year on police, paramilitary and Army personnel:
# On October 5, militants killed two CRPF personnel and wounded three others in the group near Kandizal on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
# On August 30, militants fired on a J-K Police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) during a rifle-snatching bid. In the gunfight that followed, three militants and a police personnel were killed.
# On August 17, militants fired on a joint security team at Kreeri village in north Kashmir, killing two CRPF personnel and a policeman. Three militants and two Armymen were killed in the gunfight that followed.
# On August 14, militants killed two policemen at Nowgam Srinagar on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
# On June 14, a CRPF officer was killed and two personnel injured in a similar attack at Panthachowk on the outskirts of Srinagar city.
Meanwhile, two soldiers were injured in Kupwara district in a case of accidental fire. Sources said the soldiers, who were injured when a gun was fired accidentally, were shifted to the Army hospital in Kupwara, and one of them later to the Army’s base hospital in Srinagar.
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