December 2000 News

On Ramzan''s last Friday, Lashkar targets Red Fort

22 December 2000
The Indian Express

New Delhi: In a daring attack, a two-member squad, reportedly belonging to Lashkar e-Toiba, the Pakistan-based Kashmiri terrorist group, attacked an Army camp within the Red Fort area here and killed three people, two of them Army regulars, on Friday night. Until reports last came in, the attackers were at large. Police and Army officials suspect that the attack was carried out by a suicide squad of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-E-Toiba outfit. Police said the terrorists attacked the camp of 7 Rajputana Rifles stationed at the Fort at about 9.15 p.m. and killed guards on patrol duty. The attackers then reportedly escaped. A red alert has been sounded and the entire area has been cordoned off. A manhunt was on to nab the militants, police added. Combing operations were being carried out late into the night. This perhaps is for the first time that terrorists have hit an Army installation in the capital. They couldn''t enter the inner security zone where the weapons of the army are kept. A civilian attached to the Army and two regulars of the Rajputana Rifles were killed. The men escaped after the shoot-out in the high security zone. The Army has launched an inquiry into the incident as it is in charge of the Fort security. A joint Army-Police search has been launched within the Fort and the Jama Nasjid area. The Red Fort area houses, at present, one batallion of the Rajputana Rifles. The batallion is in charge of the Red Fort security, India Gate and the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The camp houses 300 to 500 personnel, including officers and their families. The Red Fort also houses the Army''s Intelligence Unit Interrogation Cell where all Kashmir-related terrorists are questioned. Soon after the shoot-out, newspaper offices in Srinagar received a call from Lashkar claiming responisibility for the attack. The caller was not Abu Usama, the regular Lashkar ''spokesman''. The Red Fort, once the seat of the Mughal empire, is one of the most prestigious centres of the Army. Since the days of the British, the Army has always maintained a presence in the Fort.

 

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