The Indian Army suffered a major setback on Thursday when terrorists attacked a truck in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch, killing five soldiers and injuring another.
The deceased soldiers have been identified as Havildar Mandeep Singh, Lance Naik Debashish Baswal, Lance Naik Kulwant Singh, Sepoy Harkrishan Singh, and Sepoy Sewak Singh. They were attached with the Army’s Rashtriya Rifles unit and were deployed for counter-terrorist operations in the area.
Attack details and army's response
According to the Army's 16 Corps based in Nagrota, the incident took place after the vehicle they were travelling in was fired upon by terrorists in the Rajouri sector in Jammu. The unidentified attackers took advantage of heavy rains and low visibility in the area, and the army truck caught fire due to a likely grenade attack.
Operations were launched to trace the perpetrators, but so far there was no clarity yet on the attackers. The injured soldier is receiving treatment at the Army Hospital in Rajouri.
Tributes from political leaders
Tributes poured in from the political fraternity, with many expressing shock over the incident. National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Terrible news of a terror attack in Poonch that claimed the lives of 5 army jawans in the line of duty. I unequivocally condemn this heinous attack & send my condolences to the loved ones of those killed today. May the souls of the departed rest in peace."
Delhi chief minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal also expressed shock over the death of the soldiers and called for the strongest punishment for those behind the attack.
Army's solidarity with the bereaved families
The Army's Whitenight Corps expressed solidarity with the bereaved families and shared the names of the deceased soldiers on Twitter. The attack has once again brought the issue of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir to the forefront, and the Army's response to it will be closely watched.