5 Armymen, 3 Militants, 1 Civilian killed in Sunjwan fidayeen attack

Five army men and 3 JeM militants were killed and a civilian died in the ongoing encounter at a military station at Sunjwan in Jammu. Ten others were injured including five women even as the searches continued on the second day.
Two militants were killed by the forces after a group of heavily armed Jaish-e-Mohammad militants attacked the sprawling camp of the 36 brigade of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry early yesterday. Two Army personnel, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were killed on the first day itself, while three more army personnel and a civilian were killed today.
The operation to flush out militants from the camp entered the second day. “The operation is on and the evacuation (of people from the family quarters) is in progress,” Jammu-based Army PRO Lt Col Devender Anand said.
During the day, he said a number of families were still there and the Army’s aim was to ensure their safety. “There was no firing since last night,” the officer said. Huge explosions were heard from inside the camp during evening hours as it was apprehended that more militants might be hiding in the army quarters due to which the operation was “being carried out very carefully.”
In the afternoon four to five fire tenders went inside the camp indicating that the army was preparing for final assault.
Sources however said that during late last night militants fired back at army at 3 am.
The latest attack on the camp took place nearly 15 months after the Jammu region was hit by a similar attack. On November 29, 2016, militants had stormed the Army’s Nagrota camp on the outskirts of the city, killing seven Army personnel including two officers. Three militants were also gunned down.
The militants had struck before dawn yesterday and managed to sneak into the camp from the rear side of the base after a brief exchange of fire with the sentry on its periphery.
“The militants entered the family accommodation complex after which quick response teams cordoned off the area and isolated the militants, who are holed up in a few houses (inside the camp),” officials said.
While there was no action around the main entrance and vehicles were moving along the Jammu-Lakhanpur bypass in front of the camp, Army personnel in bullet-proof vehicles engaged in the operation to rescue people from the family quarters in the rear side of the base. Contingents of CRPF and police were posted outside the boundary wall and were keeping curious onlookers at bay to avoid civilian casualties.
A high alert has been sounded in Jammu and security beefed up in and around the city. Intelligence inputs had warned of an attack on an Army or security establishment by Jaish-e-Mohammed in view of the death anniversary of Afzal Guru who was hanged on February 9, 2013.
Defense spokesman Anand said army commandos have recovered AK 56 rifles, under Barrel Grenade Launcher, ammunition and grenades from the possession of the slain militants.
During the searches in residential quarters, the bodies of one of the Junior Commission Officers, two soldiers and an elderly man, father of a soldier have been recovered by the army personnel, who were involved in the operation.
Earlier Army chief Bipin Rawat arrived in winter capital Jammu on Sunday to take stock of the ongoing security situation. A team of National Investigation Team (NIA) came to Jammu from New Delhi to conduct investigation into the militant attack. “The team visited the military station during morning hours. They visited some of the spots close to the Army Station for investigation purpose and also went inside the military camp,” said the sources. An abandoned building near the military station was being apprehended by the agencies to have been used by the militants who carried out deadly attack. The abandoned building is located at an isolated place near the army station in Sunjwan where pro-freedom slogans of “Go India Go Back” were written. The security agencies were suspicious that this building might have been used for stay by the militants.
The deceased were identified as Hony Lt Madan Lal Choudhary, Sub Mohd Ashraf Mir, Hav Habibullah Qureshi, L Nk Md Iqbal, civilian Iqbal and L Nk Manjoor Ahmed Deva.