Samba Battle On: Two Militants Believed Dead

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KL Report

SRINAGAR

A gun battle is still on at the Samba Army camp which was stormed by militants after an attack on police station Hiranagar in Jammu division Thursday morning. There are reports though unconfirmed that two of the militants have been killed.

The militants who attacked a police station and an Army cantonment in a span of about two hours in Jammu division Thursday morning, are suspected to have crossed over into this part of the border only last night.

According to police sources the militants managed to make their way from Jandi village on the border with Pakistan to Hiranagar in Kathua district of Jammu, where they attacked a police station and killed cops, before hijacking a truck and driving to the Samba district to attack an army unit.

“Among those who have died in the second attack is a lieutenant colonel, the second-in-command of the 16 Cavalry armoured corp unit. The Commanding Officer has bullet injuries,” sources said.

J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah in a hurriedly called press conference said, “I am sure I will be right in suggesting that this infiltration took place in the last 12-24hours.”

Reports suggest that the militants first hijacked an auto used to ferry vegetables from Jandi to travel to the Hiranagar police station. They killed the sentry at the gate, walked in and shot dead the cops.

The attackers then hijacked a truck, killed its conductor and forced the driver to drive them to the adjoining district of Samba. About a kilometer from the 16 Cavalry camp, they abandoned the truck, the defence sources said.

It is not yet clear how they entered the camp. There is speculation that they either overpowered guards and entered through the gate or then cut barbed wire to smuggle into the camp.

According to defence sources this is the worst attack in Jammu in over 10 years. It comes just three days before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the US.

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