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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Kathua terror attack: Vigilant villager's quick alert averts major tragedy

A suspected Pakistani terrorist and a CRPF jawan were killed following the terrorist attack on the village near the International Border (IB) on Tuesday evening, which also left a civilian injured

PTI Published 12.06.24, 02:50 PM
Army personnel take positions near the site of the ongoing encounter between security forces and terrorists at Saida Sukhal village in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district.

Army personnel take positions near the site of the ongoing encounter between security forces and terrorists at Saida Sukhal village in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district. PTI

A vigilant villager in Saida Sukhal hamlet prevented a potential tragedy by alerting the locals about two armed terrorists following which they rushed to safety.

A suspected Pakistani terrorist and a CRPF jawan were killed following the terrorist attack on the village near the International Border (IB) on Tuesday evening, which also left a civilian injured.

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The region remains tense following the attack and the ensuing 17-hour operation to track down another terrorist still at large.

"A tragedy was averted because I raised an alarm about terrorists in the village. Many children were playing, and people were out walking. They could have easily killed 15 to 20 people, mostly children. People were heading to Satsang in the evening. It could have been catastrophic," said villager and eyewitness Surinder.

Surinder, who was returning to his hamlet on his motorbike, encountered the armed men who asked for water. Suspicious of their behavior, he immediately sounded an alert.

"It was around 7:30 to 7:45 pm. I was on my bike when a child informed me about two armed youths in the village. I saw them dressed in black with AK rifles, calling me to approach them. I suspected they were terrorists and warned the villagers, leading them to rush home. Shops closed and vehicles stopped," Surinder recounted.

"Moments after my alert, the terrorists started firing. They shot several rounds, injuring a local in the shoulder, followed by a blast," he added.

Surinder quickly informed a district development committee member, who alerted the police. The police arrived promptly, killing one terrorist while the other escaped.

"Thank God for the timely alert," he said.

"Had they come during the day, when the area is crowded, it could have been much worse. At 3 am, they fired again, killing a CRPF officer," added Surinder.

The attack has instilled fear among the villagers, who believe the terrorists might have infiltrated through a tunnel bypassing the strong BSF security fencing.

"There is now a fear of infiltration. This area has not seen such incidents in a long time. It is close to the IB. The government must ensure foolproof security," said villager Trilok Chand.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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