Srinagar: Militants stormed into an Army camp and engaged the troops in a fierce face-to-face encounter which left five Armymen and an equal number of militants dead and two civilians wounded in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, official reports reaching here said.
"The attack, the first its kind, on a camp housing troops of the 4 Rashtriya Rifles was carried out by a heavily-armed group of 25 militant at Check-Natnusa village shortly after midnight, the reports said.
An Army major, two sergeants and two jawans were killed as the militants launched rockets and fired indiscriminately using light and heavy weapons, the reports said. Five militants were also killed in the retaliatory action by the troops while the rest of the militants managed to escape, the reports said, adding one of the slain militants was identified as Saleem Kashmiri.
The reports said two civilians identified as Mohammad Sultan and Fazi Begum, injured by stray bullets in their houses, were shifted to hospital.
This was the second major militant strike in north Kashmir during the past 25 days. Earlier, militants stormed into the battalion headquarters of the Border Security Force at Bandipora, killing a deputy inspector general, a deputy commandant and two others. Two militants were also killed in the incident.
Army troops sealed the entire village immediately after the attack and launched a massive hunt to nab the militants, the reports said. The reports said senior Army officers visited the site. No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
"The militants fired more than a dozen rockets and fired from their light machine-guns on the camp of 100 soldiers," said Maj. Gen. Rajinder Kaushal. The attack took place at midnight and the fighting continued until 7 am, when the militants withdrew, he said.
In three other overnight incidents, three family members of a police informer were shot by militants, three shepherds were killed in a bomb blast and a separatist leader was shot dead by the police. The latest deaths took to 61 the number of people killed in separatist-linked violence this month in Kashmir.
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