Fresh firing near Arnia, Army begins operation to kill holed up militant

Militants attack Army base in Kashmir

Udhampur, Nov 28: Fresh firing erupted near the Arnia border belt of Jammu district on Friday, when security forces launched a cordon and search operation to track down a militant hiding in a bunker and retrieve bodies of civilians killed in a gunbattle.

Earlier on Thursday, nine people, including three civilians and three Army soldiers, were killed in a fierce gunbattle between the security forces and militants near the international border in Jammu and Kashmir.

Militants dressed in Army uniforms reportedly attacked the Indian Army base near the town of Arnia, as the leaders of India and Pakistan attended a Saarc summit.

Four to five militants reportedly attacked the Army base near the town of Arnia, about four km (2.5 miles) from the border with Pakistan, the officer, who did not wish to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said.

The militants had divided into two teams, with one group heading for an Army bunker and the other holed up inside a village house, the officer said.

A senior Border Security Force official, however, said the gunmen didn’t infiltrate from the Pakistani side of the border, adding “They came in a car to Arnia and took shelter in a bunker and targeted the Army.”

Chief minister Omar Abdullah condoled the death of the soldier with his family, and said the attack “can’t be a coincidence”.

Omar tweeted: “The timing of the attack in Arnia can’t be a coincidence. My condolences to the family of the army officer killed in Arnia.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to campaign for BJP in second phase of assembly elections in Udhampur and Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on November 28.

Modi will address rally in Udhampur district, which is 100km from Arnia.

(With Agency Inputs)

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