Six terrorists killed in two ongoing gunfights in J&K's Kulgam

In a continued wave of assaults on security forces in Jammu province, terrorists ambushed an Army vehicle in the usually "peaceful" Kathua district on Monday. This attack resulted in the tragic deaths of four soldiers and left six others critically injured.

According to reports, the ambush occurred on the Machedi-Kindli-Malhar road near Badnota village in Lohai Malhar, Billawar, approximately 150 kilometers from the district headquarters of Kathua. The terrorists hurled grenades and opened fire on Army vehicles that were on a routine patrol.

An army truck carrying ten soldiers was attacked at a remote location. "After hurling grenades, the terrorists began indiscriminate firing on the vehicle," stated an officer involved in the operation. "The security forces retaliated, but the terrorists managed to escape into the nearby forest, using the dense vegetation to their advantage. An intermittent exchange of fire lasted for a few minutes, but no fresh firing has been reported, suggesting the terrorists are hiding in the forest."

Reinforcements were quickly dispatched to the area to locate and neutralize the terrorists. An official confirmed that a total of ten soldiers were injured, with four succumbing to their injuries later.

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First Ambush in Kathua

This incident marks the first ambush of its kind in Kathua district. Historically, Kathua had remained relatively unaffected during the peak of terrorism. However, in recent years, the entire Jammu region has seen an uptick in terrorist activity, with attacks now being reported from areas previously considered safe.

This is the second major terror attack in Kathua. Earlier, on June 11 and 12, security forces engaged in an encounter that resulted in the deaths of two suspected terrorists. A significant cache of arms, ammunition, dry fruits, medicines, batteries, and walkie-talkie sets were recovered from them.

This encounter followed a deadly attack on a pilgrims' bus in Reasi on June 9, which was returning from the Shiv Khori cave temple. Nine people were killed and 33 were injured in this attack, which was orchestrated by Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Hamza.

Increased Terror Activity in Jammu

The Chenab Valley, encompassing Doda, Kishtwar, and Ramban districts, along with the Pir Panjal region, comprising Rajouri and Poonch districts, have witnessed increased targeted attacks and infiltration over the past three years. A senior government official highlighted several significant incidents:

  • June 11: Six security personnel were injured in a terrorist attack on a joint check post at Chattargalla in Doda district.
  • June 12: A police officer was injured in a gunfight with terrorists at Kota Top in the Gandoh area.
  • June 26: Three terrorists were killed during an encounter with security forces in a forested area of Doda district.

Ongoing Threats and Security Concerns

Amid a surge of terror attacks over the past three days in the Jammu region, security agencies suspect that multiple groups of terrorists, including fresh infiltrators, are active in the Reasi, Doda, and Kathua areas.

A high-ranking government source revealed that since mid-2021, there have been at least 30 terror attacks in the Jammu division. This uptick in violence suggests a persistent effort to revive terrorism in the region following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.

Omar, Mehbooba condemn terror attack in Kathua

Two former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti strongly condemned the terror attack in Kathua district.

"Terrible news from Kathua. It's a very bad day when you lose four brave army personnel in the line of duty. I condemn the attack unequivocally and send my heartfelt condolences to the families. I hope the injured make a swift & complete recovery", Omar posted on X.

While condemning the terror attack in Kathua, Mehbooba posted on X "Condemn the terror attack in Kathua that claimed the lives of four soldiers. Tragic & equally shocking that they are losing their lives in the line of duty in places where one found little to no trace of militancy before 2019. Tells you all there is to know about the current security situation in J&K. Deepest condolences to their families".

Cong condemns Kathua terror attack, term situation worrisome

Congress has expressed shock over the loss of lives and strongly condemned the terrorist attack in the Kathua district of Jammu region in which four army jawans attained martyrdom and several others injured while terming the security situation worrisome, Congress saluted the bravehearts and expressed sympathies with their family members and colleagues.