Father of slain soldier also killed, two women and two senior army officers in critical condition
Srinagar: At least nine people including five soldiers, three militants, and a civilian have been killed while 10 others have sustained critical injuries during the 30-hour-long gunbattle that started after militants stormed the military base at Sunjwan on the outskirts of Jammu city.
Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat has flown to Jammu to take stock of the situation.
On Saturday, the army said it would tread cautiously as it had to rescue the families and children before going for the final assault in the night.
“Due to presence of women and children in the housing colony, the operations are being progressed cautiously,” the army spokesman had said.
The army was unsure about the number and locations of the militants and was preparing to launch a full offensive during the night. The army brought generators and searchlights to the camp for the night assault. They also pressed into service helicopters, drones, special para commandos to counter the militants. Later, they also brought in tanks, apparently to blow up the buildings where the militants were hiding.
Government sources said that the militants entered the JCO quarters and opened indiscriminate firing, after which they took refuge in the surrounding buildings.
At around 2am Sunday, the firing stopped, sources said.
According to the army spokesman, five soldiers, three militants and a civilian have been killed so far.
While talking to the media, defence spokesperson Col Devendra Anand said that all the five soldiers killed during the gunbattle belonged to Kashmir.
“The father of a soldier also lost his life. So far, we have killed three militants,” Col Anand told the media.
The spokesman said that a search and sanitisation operation was still on inside the camp. The army said they have recovered an AK-56 rifle, a grenade launcher, ammunition and grenades from the possession of the dead militants.
The defence spokesman said the militants were wearing army fatigues.
The media later identified the five dead army personnel and the civilian as Subedar Madan Lal Choudhary of 1st JAKLI (Jammu Kashmir Light Infantry) Subedar Mohamamd Ashraf Mir 1st JAKLI, Havaldar Habib-Ullah Qurashi 1st JAK LI, NK Manzoor Ahmed (1st JAK LI), L/NK Mohd Iqbal (1st JAK LI), and father of L/NK Mohd Iqbal (civilian).
The ten persons who were injured include a Major and a liuetenant-colonel rank officer. The injured have been identified as Lt Col Rohit of 6th Mahar, Maj Avijit Singh 6th Mahar, having head injuries, Havaldar Abdul Rashid, Ladies Paramjit Kaur, Neha, Somati Zena, and Subedar Rajinder singh, Rifle Man Nazir Ahmad, and two more ladies.
Giving details to the media, the army spokesman said that army doctors worked through the night to save the life of a pregnant lady who delivered a baby girl through Caesarian surgery.
The spokesman said another 14-year-old boy with a gunshot wound is in critical condition.
So far, no militant group has taken responsibility of the attack. However, news reports and unnamed army officials have pointed out that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has carried out the attack.