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Thursday, 27 November 2014

A day before PM Modi's rally, fidayeen kill 6 in J&K........

SRINAGAR: Three civilians and as many soldiers were killed after a group of heavily-armed terrorists fired at an Army patrol and a car atArnia near the India-Pakistan border in Jammudistrict on Thursday. Cops said they werefidayeens from across the border. 

The encounter took place a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election rally in Udhampur, around 100km away. Udhampur-Reasi range DIG Garbeeb Das said an alert has been sounded in Jammu region ahead of the PM's visit to Udhampur and Poonch. 

Police said around eight terrorists, four of whom were killed in the firefight, infiltrated from across the border and fired at the patrol killing three Army soldiers. Within minutes, a car was caught in the frenzy, resulting in the death of its three civilian occupants. 

The terrorists then split into two groups with one getting holed up inside an abandoned bunker and another in a nearby house as the Army and BSF soldiers surrounded them, beginning the encounter. 

Four of the eight fidayeen were killed when reports last came in. "A combing operation is on in the area and it is yet to be declared terrorist free,'' said Jammu & Kashmir police chief K Rajendra. 

Jammu range IGP Rajesh Kumar said the terrorists were 'fidayeens' and added that the scene of the attack was two-km inside the barbed border fencing, where regular cross-border shelling was reported a month back. Police said residents of the area saw the terrorists in the morning and informed the BSF and the police. The area was immediately cordoned off. 

This was the worst attack in more than a year in J&K, where militant violence has dipped to an all-time low since 2004. 

"We're reviewing the security set-up for the Prime Minister afresh in view of the terror attack with more caution. Elaborate multi-tier security has been put in place for the PM's rally in Udhampur," IGP Kumar said. 

The venue for the rally in Udhampur has been sealed off for public. Traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway and bypass would be stopped ahead of the rally. 

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed his condolences and said the timing of the attack cannot be a coincidence. "My condolences to the family of the Army officer (sic) killed in Arnia," he tweeted.