Fidayeen storm Kathua police station; 6 killed in gunbattle

Fidayeen storm Kathua police station; 6 killed in gunbattle
  • First major militant attack in PDP-BJP coalition; dead include 2 militants, 2 CRPF men, cop, civilian
  • DSP, 7 CRPF personnel among 10 injured

Jammu: Two CRPF personnel, a policeman and a civilian were killed on Friday when two suspected Fidayeen militants stormed a police station in Kathua district of Jammu before being shot dead, police officials said.
The duo was killed over seven hours after they barged into the Rajbagh police station complex after killing the lone guard at the main gate, the officials said.
This is the first major militant attack in the state since the formation of the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state on March 1.
Officials said that armed with automatic weapons and grenades, the militants, dressed in military fatigue, carried out the sudden attack at around 6 am.
An injured CRPF constable Bharat Prabhu said militants wearing army uniforms intercepted a jeep going from Jammu to Pathankot on the pretext of checking the vehicle.
The militants then hijacked the jeep which had three passengers on board and fled towards the Rajbagh police station where they opened fire on a sentry and killed him. The militants fired UBGL grenades at the police station and opened indiscriminate fire.
Once the attackers sneaked into the complex (about 65 km from Jammu) on the highway to Pathankot and just 15 km from the Pakistan border, they opened fire at a building occupied by the CRPF, killing two of its men.
A civilian was also killed but it was not clear in what circumstances. Ten others, almost all of them police and paramilitary security personnel, suffered varying injuries in the audacious attack.
The injured included seven CRPF men, a Deputy Superintendent of police, a police constable and a civilian, the officials said.
The DSP was identified as Diwakar Singh, who sustained a bullet injury on his shoulder.
The injured were hurriedly shifted to Jammu for treatment.
Police, paramilitary and army reinforcements rushed to the site once the attack became known. Amid covering fire, the trapped CRPF personnel managed to leave the building.
It was finally around 1.30 pm that the authorities made the final assault on the building, killing the two attackers.
“It is a fidayeen attack,” IGP Jammu Danish Rana said. “Two militants have been killed. Operation has ended.”
As the gun battle between the militants and security forces raged, traffic on the highway was halted.
All schools in Kathua district were hurriedly ordered shut. All school examinations scheduled in the district were postponed.
The police station looked like a battle ground with bullet holes on the wall. The attack triggered panic among people living close to the police station.