Four soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), were killed and two more were injured on Thursday when the Indian Army repelled a “fidayeen” attack in which two terrorists attempted to storm an army camp hours after midnight at Pargal in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district.
The two terrorists were shot dead and their attempt to penetrate the camp was foiled. They were believed to be from the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), director general of police Dilbag Singh said.
The attack, which came days before India celebrates 75 years of Independence, was the first strike of this nature since 2018, when three Jaish terrorists attacked an army camp at Sunjuwan in Jammu in a similar pre-dawn fidayeen (suicide) attack, claiming the lives of six soldiers and a civilian.
The army said that Thursday’s gunbattle was triggered after sentries detected suspicious persons approaching the camp taking advantage of the inclement weather and dense foliage. “The sentries challenged the two terrorists who threw grenade while attempting to gain entry inside the post. …alert troops cordoned the area and engaged them in a firefight thereby pinning them. In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were neutralised,” it said in a statement.
Initially, three of the soldiers had died during the attack. The army identified them as subedar (JCO) Rajendra Prasad and riflemen Manoj Kumar and Lakshmanan D. Prasad was from Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu while Lakshmanan belonged to Madurai in Tamil Nadu, and Kumar to Faridabad in Haryana.
Later at night, a fourth soldier succumbed to injuries. “Rifleman Nishant Malik, who was injured while bravely fighting and killed two terrorists in Pargal, has succumbed to injuries.Indian Army condole the loss of braveheart and stand in solidarity with his family,” said defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand.
Malik belonged to Adarsh Nagar in Hisar district of Haryana. Earlier in the day, the defence spokesperson said: “Indian Army salute the bravehearts, for their supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. The nation will always remain indebted to them for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty”.
Military camps have been prime targets of terror groups in the region. In 2016, 19 soldiers were killed in an attack on an army brigade headquarters near Uri along the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir. It was the deadliest such attack in the region in two decades and prompted a cross-border retaliation.
Darhal SHO, inspector Ashiq Lone, said, “Army camp at Pargal is around 40km away from the LoC. The terrorists attacked the camp around 2 am. The terrorists had crossed the army’s fence and were about to enter the camp.”
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