Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag today visited the Nagrota-based 16 Corps headquarters and was briefed about yesterday's terror attack in which seven personnel, including to army officerss were killed, even as combing operation to flush out any remaining militant continued.
Three militants were killed by security forces personnel and combing operation to sanitise the area was nearing end.
Gen Suhag arrived in Nagrota in the afternoon and was briefed by the top commanders on the terror attack at an army artillery unit.
"Combing operation resumed this morning at the camp. The area has to be cleared... Operation is on to see whether there is presence of any other militant in the area. We cannot take chances," a senior army officer said.
In the biggest assault on an Army installation since the Uri attack, armed militants dressed in police fatigue the officers’ mess building complex of the Army base and created a hostage-like situation.
The terror attack on a military base has once again exposed the chinks in the Indian Army's security infrastructure.
While the combing operations are underway, the Army is investigating how the terrorists breached the high security cantonment.
The bodies of three terrorists have been found. The Army says the base is being sanitized and the search operation is not over yet.
The two officers killed in the incident were identified as Major Gosavi Kunal Mannadir and Major Akshay Girish Kumar. The others were Havaldar Sukhraj Singh, Lance Naik Kadam Sam bhaji Yeshwantro, Grenadier Raghvendra Singh and Rifleman Azim Rai. Five soldiers were injured in the attack.
Three heavily armed terrorists in police uniform entered in officers’ mess building complex, fired heavily and attacked with grenades.
One of the officers and three soldiers were killed when the terrorists barged into the base, which is around 20 km from Jammu, and opened fire. The rest were killed while trying to rescue family members of army men, including two women and their newborns.
The army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag is on his way to the Nagrota Corps headquarter to review the situation.
A major hostage crisis was averted due to the bravery of two women, who were staying in the family quarters along with their newborns, the plans of the terrorists could not materialise.
"The wives of the two army officers, who were on night duty when the encounter broke out, displayed exemplary courage as they blocked the entry of their quarters with all the household items, making it difficult for the terrorists to break into the houses," an army officer privy to the encounter told PTI.
It is not yet clear how the terrorists crossed so many check-posts on the Jammu-Srinagar highway to approach the base - which is close to a river and thick forests.
The Nagrota base is one of four command centres in Jammu and Kashmir and home to over 1,000 officers. It is the headquarters of the army's 16 Corps, which defends the borders and fights terrorists in the greater Jammu region.