Two terrorists, believed to be foreigners, were killed while one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and three riflemen also died in a heavy exchange of fire as terrorists made a bid to enter an Army camp in the Darhal area of Rajouri district on Thursday morning. Two soldiers, including a Major, also sustained injuries in the gunfight.
However, the Army and Police officials said that the terror attack was foiled by the alert troops.
Officials told that at around 3 am on Thursday, two heavily-armed terrorists came near the fence of an Army camp at Pargal in the Darhal Police Station area of Rajouri, lobbed a hand grenade toward the sentry post while trying to enter inside the camp and resorted to indiscriminate firing.
“The terrorists, while firing indiscriminately were moving towards the barracks of the soldiers but some Army men responded swiftly and engaged them near the bunkers outside the barracks. This averted their attempt to enter inside the barracks and inflict casualties on the Army soldiers sleeping there,” the officials said.
They said that the terrorists were holed up near the front bunkers of the camp.
The exchange of fire between the soldiers and the terrorists continued for over three and half hours and ended when both the heavily-armed terrorists were killed.
“Six Army personnel sustained injuries in the gunfight. Three of them succumbed to injuries at the gunfight site while three others including an officer of the Major rank were rescued from the site after the gunfight and were admitted to the Army Hospital, Rajouri. There, another soldier succumbed to his injuries in the evening,” the officials said.
The Army personnel, who died in the line of duty, were identified as Junior Commissioned Officer (Subedar) Rajendra Prasad from Jhunjhunu Rajasthan, rifleman Lakshmanan D of Madurai Tamil Nadu, Rifleman Manoj Kumar from Faridabad, Haryana, and Rifleman Nishant Malik from Hisar, Haryana.
The latter succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment at Rajouri Army Hospital.
The other two injured personnel including a Major-ranked officer were under treatment at Rajouri Army Hospital and were responding well to the treatment, officials said.
SSP Rajouri Muhammad Aslam told that alert Army troops in the Pargal Army camp foiled this terror attack by engaging terrorists near the bunkers and disallowing them to enter the barracks.
“They (terrorists) were trying to enter the barracks to inflict maximum causalities but the alert Army troops foiled their design and stopped them from entering inside by swift response after initial lobbying of grenade upon the sentry post,” he said.
“The Army troops engaged the terrorists in front of the camp and the gunfight continued for hours in which both the terrorists were killed but four Army personnel including one JCO also died,” the SSP Rajouri said.
About the identity of the terrorists, he said, “Their exact identification is yet not clear but they seemed to be foreign terrorists and were heavily armed. Our investigation for their identification and the outfit to which they belong is going on.”
About the possibility of more terrorists in the area, the SSP Rajouri said that only two terrorists attempted this attack on the camp.
“But there are some inputs from areas of Thannamandi, Kandi, and Budhal also and those inputs are being looked into,” he said.
Meanwhile, PRO Defence Lt Col Devender Anand, in an official statement, said, “In the early hours of August 11, alert sentries of the Indian Army post at Pargal, Rajouri detected suspicious persons approaching their post taking advantage of the inclement weather and dense foliage. The sentries challenged the two terrorists who threw a grenade while attempting to gain entry inside the post. However, the alert troops cordoned the area and engaged them in a gunfight, thereby pinning them. In the ensuing gunfight, two terrorists were killed. Six soldiers of the Indian Army were injured in the attack of which three soldiers succumbed to their injuries while repulsing suicide attack by the terrorists.”