The Army on Sunday said the four terrorists killed after an attack in Jammu and Kashmir left 17 soldiers dead were foreigners and belonged to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit.
“All four killed were foreign terrorists and had some items with them which had Pakistani markings. Initial reports indicate that the slain terrorists belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed,” the Director General Military Operations (DGMO), Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, told reporters here.
Jaish-e-Mohammed was also blamed for the January attack on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in Punjab.
Gen Ranbir Singh said he had spoken to his Pakistan counterpart and “conveyed our serious concerns” over cross border terrorism and the Uri attack — one of the deadliest in nearly three decades of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said four AK-47 rifles and four under barrel grenade launchers along with a “large number of other war like stores” were recovered from the slain terrorists.
The DGMO also said 13 or 14 of the 17 deaths occurred due to a fire after militants hurled grenades at temporary structures erected near the 12 Brigade headquarters in the mountainous terrain of Uri — close to the Line of Control, a de facto border that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
“The terrorists fired incendiary ammunition along with automatic fire of small arms that led to army tents, temporary shelters catching fire. The tents located in the complex were to house additional troops inducted due to routine turnover of units.
“We salute the supreme sacrifice made by our brave soldiers following the highest traditions of Indian Army.”
He said army remained “prepared to thwart any nefarious designs and any evil designs of the adversary shall be given a befitting reply”.
Gen Ranbir Singh said intelligence agencies were working in close synergy with the security forces and regular intelligence inputs were received from concerned agencies and necessary action was being taken accordingly.
He said the operation for clearance of the area was still on and “as such, complete details of the operation are not yet available”.