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Terror grips Kashmir ahead of Modi visit

Heavily-armed militants stormed an Army camp in Mohra in Uri tehsil of north Kashmir’s Baramulla District. , killing 11 security personnel, including a Lt Col, and targeted a police party in Shopian, while a top LeT commander was killed in an encounter. The attack comes days before the third phase of elections in Jammu and Kashmir to be held on December 9.

Six militants were also killed in the attack at the Army camp which is 20 km from the Line of Control (LoC), official sources said. A Lt Colonel and seven Army personnel were among the dead. While bodies of four army personnel were charred, one had burn injuries and the other three had bullet injuries, the sources said.

Uri is about 100 km northwest of Srinagar, where PM Narendra Modi is due to campaign on Monday.  In Delhi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, “It is possible that this has happened because of elections... We will eliminate the remaining militants who are trapped.”  Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the attack was a “desperate attempt” to disrupt peace and normalcy.
“Once again shows the desperate levels militants will go to disrupt peace and normalcy,” he tweeted.

Police said at least six militants had infiltrated into the Valley from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir recently.

In Soura in the outskirts of the Srinagar, top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Qari Israr was killed by security personnel when he was trying to enter the city, police said. Police said at least two militants travelling in a car tried to speed away from a check point at Ahmadnagar in Soura area this afternoon. The policemen chased the car and in the ensuing gun battle, Israr was gunned down. One AK-47 rifle was recovered from him.

The area has been cordoned off as another militant had taken refuge in a house in the same locality, it said. Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police K Rajendra said it was a big catch as the militant, a Pakistani national, was wanted in many cases.

Police have intensified random search of vehicles following intelligence inputs that militants might carry out a suicide attack in the city ahead of the elections and the scheduled rally of the Prime Minister on Monday. In the third attack, militants hurled a grenade at a police ambush party in Shopian in south Kashmir but there were no reports of any casualty.

Shopian area has been vulnerable as militants coming from Doda region through Peer Panjal Range have been using this area as a transit spot. On December 2, Army foiled an infiltration bid in Handwara area of Kupwara district killing six militants while one army personnel was also killed. The infiltration bid was foiled even as people in Kupwara district were voting to elect their representatives.

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