17 soldiers killed in Uri terror attack

Located barely a few kilometres from the Line of Control (LoC) and some 70 km from Srinagar, the base was subjected to the brazen attack by four terrorists, causing heavy casualties in the Dogra regiment which lost 17 of its men. The attack left, 20 more army personnel injured, some critically, where were airlifted to the army base hospital in Srinagar.

After the three-hour gunbattle, four terrorists were killed and the army was combing to ensure there were no other militants. Most of the army casualties resulted from the fire in tents in which jawans were sleeping. Following the gruesome attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that those responsible “will not go unpunished.”

Soon after the news of the attack broke, Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag rushed to Uri followed soon by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who cut short his Goa visit. Parrikar was briefed at Army’s headquarters in Srinagar. The attack comes nearly two years after terrorists had carried out a similar attack at Mohra in the same area. Ten security personnel were killed in the attack that took place on 5th of December, 2014. Pointing fingers at Pakistan Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said our western neighbour was a “terrorist state” and should be isolated while BJP leader Ram Madhav said days of strategic restraint were over and suggested that “for one tooth, the complete jaw” should be the policy after the attack. Leaders across the political spectrum including Congress President Sonia Gandhi condemned the attack. President Pranab Mukherjee said India would not be cowed down by such attacks and that it would thwart the evil designs of terrorists and their backers.

According to Director General of Military Operation, “Some of the equipment carried by the terrorists who attacked Uri Army camp on Sunday morning had Pakistani markings on them.” India has conveyed serious concern to Pakistan over this.

Giving details of the deadly attack that left 17 soldiers martyred, the DGMO also said that initial reports of a probe into the attack suggest that all of them were foreign terrorists and belonged to terror outfit JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad). The terrorists who carried out the attack were heavily armed, the Army said. The Army has recovered four AK 47 rifles and four under barrel grenades from the killed terrorists so far. Assuring a befitting reply to the perpetrators of the terror attack, the DGMO said, “I assure you that the Army is prepared for any evil design by the adversary and will give a befitting response.”

The DGMO said that the terrorists had fired incendiary ammunition along with automatic fire of small arms that led to army tents and temporary shelters catching fire. The ‘deliberate and methodical search’ of the area in Uri suggest that of the 17 casualties, 13 or 14 jawans were martyred due to a fire in their shelter, Gen Ranbir Singh said. 

Earlier in the day, Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a high-level meeting in New Delhi and reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home and Defence Secretaries and top Army, Paramilitary officials attended the meeting. 

The Minister said he was deeply disappointed with Islamabad’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups. He said, those behind this terror incident would be brought to justice. The Home Minister also spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and was apprised of the overall situation.

J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemning the dawn terror attack at an army base in Uri said it appeared to have been aimed at “triggering fresh violence and creating a war-like situation in the region.” Jammu and Kashmir, she said, has always been the “worst victim of Indo-Pak hostility” and its people have been “paying a colossal price for same for over six decades.”
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