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Four civilians dead & several injured as suspected terrorists target villagers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri border

Four civilians were killed and six others injured when suspected terrorists opened fire on three houses of a community in a village in Jammu and Kashmir‘s Rajouri border area on Sunday evening, officials said. It was the first such attack in many years in the otherwise peaceful Jammu region and coincided with the first day of the New Year.

 Director General of Police, Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh said the police “along with the Army and CRPF, have launched a massive search operation to nab the two armed men behind the attack in Upper Dangri village, about eight kilometers from Rajouri town, the shooting took place in three houses that were about 50 meters away from each other. Two civilians have succumbed to their injuries and four others are injured”.

However, officials said two other wounded civilians succumbed to their injuries, bringing the death toll to four. Citing eyewitnesses, officials said “two suspected terrorists appeared in the village around 7:00 p.m., opened indiscriminate fire on three houses and fled,the shooting ended within 10 minutes. They first attacked a house in Upper Dangri and then moved 25 meters away and shot several people there. While fleeing the village, they also fired at another house 25 meters away from the second house”.

Official said “10 persons were hit by bullets and three of them were declared brought dead at Government Medical College Hospital, Rajouri, while another critically injured succumbed to his injuries while being airlifted to Jammu along with two other injured persons.

The deceased have been identified as Satish Kumar (45), Deepak Kumar (23), Pritam Lal (57) and Shishu Pal (32), the official said. The injured were identified as Pawan Kumar (38), Rohit Pandit (27), Saroj Bala (35), Ridham Sharma (17) and Pawan Kumar (32), he said.

Medical Superintendent of Government Medical College (GMC) Rajouri, Dr Mehmood H Bajar, confirmed the death of four persons in the firing and said that among the injured, two were airlifted to Jammu for specialized treatment. Deeraj Kumar, sarpanch of Dangri, said gunshots were heard around 7:00 pm and after some time they increased in intensity. Later they called me that the terrorists were shooting, he added.

The protesters also shouted slogans against the governor’s administration and security agencies for not effectively dealing with the menace of Pakistan-backed terrorists, eyewitnesses said.

Officials said security forces were conducting a wide-ranging search, but there was no trace of the attackers so far. While the army blamed unidentified terrorists for killing two civilians on their way to work inside the camp, local villagers claimed the pair were killed by patrols posted at the camp gates and demanded an impartial probe into the incident.

By: Vaishali verma

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