Pak Biscuits And Pickle In Militants' Bags

6 December 2014
The Telegraph (Kolkata)


Srinagar: A women's separatist group today hailed the 'martyrs' who carried out Friday morning's suicide attack on an army camp even as defence sources said food brands found on the slain militants pointed to Pakistan's involvement. Army chief Gen. Dalbir Singh said the pre-dawn attack in Uri that left 11 security personnel dead was an attempt by 'inimical elements' to disrupt the ongoing Jammu and Kashmir elections but asserted the force would foil such 'nefarious designs'. The tribute to the 'brave' militant 'martyrs' came from Asiya Andrabi, chairperson of the pro-Pakistan Dukhtaran-e-Millat - or Daughters of Faith. Such attacks, Andrabi said, were 'very encouraging especially for the youth'. In a statement, Andrabi expressed satisfaction over what she called the 'most successful military action carried out by Mujahideen Lashkar Toibah' and claimed '17 Indian soldiers and police personnel' had been killed in the attack on the army's 31 Field regiment. 'Alhamdulillah (Thank God) only our three Mujahideen achieved martyrdom,' she said. 'We can understand the Indian politicians and their Kashmiri puppets are making these poor soldiers scapegoats for their pity (petty) interests and thirst of power to rule Kashmir,' she said. Eight army men, includinga lieutenant colonel, and three policemen were killed in the fidayeen attack by six militants, who were later killed in a prolonged gunfight. Andrabi's comments came on a day an army source said the militants carried food items generally used by Pakistani troops. 'We have, in addition to a large haul of arms and ammunition, found food packets in their possession. They include biscuits of the popular Pakistani brand Sooper and Pakistan-made Chicken Achari (chicken pickles). They also carried medicines, dry fruits and dates,' an army officer said. 'It appears they wanted to engage our men for a long period,' the officer added. The army found 55 AK-47 magazines, 32 grenades, two shotguns, two night-vision binoculars and four radio sets on the militants, apart from other weapons. The officer said preliminary investigations had revealed that the militants, who attacked the camp around 3am after splitting into two groups, had recently infiltrated from Cham on the other side of the Line of Control. Sources said the attack couldn't have been carried out without the help of local guides and they were trying to find out who had helped the six select and reach the target. Gen. Singh, who arrived in Kashmir to pay tribute to the slain soldiers and lay wreaths on their coffins at a ceremony at Badamibagh cantonment in Srinagar, said their sacrifice wouldn't go waste. 'I salute the brave soldiers who laid down their lives in the line of duty,' he said. 'This was an attempt by inimical elements to disrupt the remaining phases of the polls as they were unnerved by the high voter turnout in the first two phases,' he said. Two civilians were killed in another attack in the state that has seen record 70 per cent-plus turnouts in the first two rounds of elections. 'Your army,' the army chief assured the nation, 'will not allow the nefarious designs of terrorists to disrupt... the democratic process.'