Militants Attack Army Camp Near Srinagar
12 September 2000
Srinagar: In the second major strike in more than a month, militants today stormed an Army camp in central Kashmir and fought a fierce gunbattle that left six soldiers and two ultras dead. Defence sources said that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT) and Jamait-ul-Mujahideen (JUM) militants forced their way into the camp at Beerwah, 20 km from here, at around 2 a.m. and fired indiscriminately killing four soldiers, including a Major, and wounding five. Two soldiers succumbed to their injuries later, the sources said. Two ''fidayeen'' (suicide squad members), one each from LeT and JUM, were killed in the gunbattle. Two Ak rifles and some hand grenades were recovered. Two buildings and several houses were damaged in the shootout. On July 31, six soldiers were killed and seven wounded when foreign mercenaries attacked an Army installation at Sunderbani- Bandipora in north Kashmir. A LeT spokesman telephoned news organisations claiming responsibility for the attack, jointly carried out by his outfit and the JUM. The sources said a group of militants fired heavily at the Army camp and two of them later entered the camp. They took shelter inside the barracks and fired indiscriminately on the troops who returned the fire, killing both the ultras. Troops cordoned off the area and conducted house-to- house searches to track down the militants who provided cover fire to the two ultras. Senior civil and police officials rushed to the area this morning. However, the Deputy Commissioner and other senior civil and police officials were not allowed to enter the camp. Villagers alleged that security forces later set on fire a number of houses in the area. The ''fidayeen'' attacks started in November last when two members of a suicide squad entered the Army headquarters at Badami Bagh cantonment and killed eight officials, including the PRO, Maj. Purshottam. They also attacked BSF camps at Bandipora and Chanapora and the Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir police at Haftchinar in Srinagar early this year. About 40 security personnel and 10 ''fidayeen'' were killed in these attacks.