Militants fire at army, SOG camps in Shopian, escape

Militants fire at army, SOG camps in Shopian, escape
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SHOPIAN: Hours after the attack on the army’s 42 RR camp in Tral, militants on Friday noon attacked the camp of 34 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) at Mantribug village in Shopian district, opening fire at the soldiers stationed there. A police officer said that the attack was repulsed by the army soldiers and there was no loss of life. The officer said he did not have information on whether any solider was injured in the attack or not.
In a similar attack carried out in the evening, militants showered bullets on the camp of the police’s special operation group (SOG) at Gagren on the outskirts of Shopian town.
A police official said that the SOG camp is also the residence of Shopian’s additional superintendent of police (ASP).
Official sources said that the militants fired at the camp and gunfire was returned by policemen. There was no report of any injury or damage of property. The incident took place at about 7pm.
Witnesses said that the firing continued for several minutes, creating panic among the local residents and those who were travelling on the road.
Soon after the attack at the army camp at Mantribug, a huge area nearby was cordoned off and searches were carried out by the army to nab the assailants.
Villagers from Mantribug and Hajipora said that identity cards and mobile phones of several people were snatched by the army soldiers. “They even beat whosoever came in their way,” a local resident said, adding that the firing by militants on the camp and the retaliatory fire by the army lasted for more than 10 minutes.
Later in the afternoon, army and other government forces launched a cordon and search operation at Reshipora village in Zainpora sub-district of Shopian.
Witnesses there told Kashmir Reader that all exit and entry points to the village were sealed and no one was allowed to enter or leave. They said that the operation was called off after no contact with militants was established.
“Many vehicles plying on the Shopian-Bijbehara road had to turn back as they were not allowed to pass through Reshipora village, which is situated besides that road,” locals of neighbouring Chitragam village said.
Police sources said that the attack on the army camp at Mantribug took place at about 12 noon when the majority of the people were busy in their orchards, either picking or packing apples.
Locals said that the firing created a scare among the villagers and many working in their orchards ran for shelter to safer places.