Woman killed, 17 hurt in Jammu terror attack (Second Lead)

August 11th, 2010 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Aug 11 (IANS) A woman was killed and 17 people, including two soldiers, were injured when terrorists ambushed three army vehicles and a civilian bus in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district Wednesday, army sources said.
Terrorists attacked the army vehicles and the bus at Dera-ki-Gali in Thana Mandi area, around 8,000 feet above sea level and about 190 km north of Jammu.

“Three army vehicles and a civilian bus came under heavy gunfire from the terrorists hiding in a maize field. Two soldiers were injured,” a senior army officer based in Nagrota, headquarters of the 16 Corps, told IANS.

A woman identified as Kiran Balla from Poonch was killed and several passengers injured in the gunfire, he said, adding that the soldiers did not retaliate.

“On whom could we have fired back. They (terrorists) took cover in the thick maize field,” the officer said.

The maize, standing more than six feet tall, is hampering search operations, he added.

But Mohammad Bashir, a resident of Thana Mandi, told IANS over phone: “The civilian bus was caught in the cross-fire between the army and militants.”

According to Bashir, the civilian casualty was caused by army fire but the army was quick to deny this saying

“Our fire was aimed at the direction of fire from terrorists,” an official said.

Such an act of terrorism is being witnessed after a long time in this area where security forces had claimed to have trounced militants and militancy.

A senior police official said on condition of anonymity: “This signals that militants have started regrouping themselves in the area.”

He said that the bigger concern was that the incident occurred close to Thana Mandi area where an army brigade is stationed.

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