In a pre-dawn strike, five CRPF men were killed when heavily armed terrorists carried out suicide attack on a camp of the paramilitary force in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, officials said.
This is first time local terrorists carried out a suicide attack, which has been claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e- Mohammed.
CRPF spokesperson Rajesh Yadav said the two terrorists are Manzoor Ahmad Baba from Drubgam (Pulwama) and Fardeen Ahmad Khanday from Nazeempora (Tral). Khanday is the son a serving policeman.
"Five CRPF jawans have been martyred and three others are injured. The bodies of two terrorists have also been recovered. We believe another terrorist has also been killed but the body has not been retrieved," Yadav told PTI.
The paramilitary force's officials in Delhi said the two terrorists are reportedly from Jaish-e-Mohammed and their bodies have been recovered with arms and ammunition. Also, in a statement issued to news agencies here, the JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Yadav said the deceased personnel are Inspector Kuldip Roy from Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh), Head Constable Taufail Ahmed of Rajouri (J&K), constables Sharief-ud-din Ganaie of Chadoora in Budgam (J&K), Rajendra Nain of Churu (Rajasthan) and P K Panda of Sundargarh (Odisha).
He said while Roy died of heart attack during the gunbattle, the four others succumbed to bullet injuries.
The injured personnel are constables Narendra Kumar, Malam Samadhan and Mala Ram, he said.
"One or two terrorists are still holed up but firing has stopped. Forces are still continuing the search operation," he said
"The heavily armed terrorists stormed the camp at about 2 AM. They were armed with under-barrel grenade launchers and automatic weapons. They were challenged by camp sentries," another CRPF official said, adding they fired indiscriminately injuring three personnel.
Terming the attack "unfortunate", Jammu and Kashmir's Director General of Police S P Vaid said security forces had input about an imminent militant strike in the Kashmir Valley for the past three days.
He said as long as Pakistan keeps sending militants, security forces and people of Kashmir will continue to go through this.
"There was an input from the last two-three days. They (militants) were trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night," Vaid told reporters here.
The CRPF camp also serves as training centre for troops inducted for counter-militancy operations in the Kashmir Valley.
A Jammu and Kashmir Police team is also co-located with CRPF in this camp.