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Army blames Lashkar for terror in Kashmir

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Army blames Lashkar for terror in Kashmir
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Srinagar: The Indian Army Sunday blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for the deadly terror attack in Kashmir which killed eight soldiers and three policemen.

A senior army officer based here also said that the terrorists who stormed a military camp in Uri on Friday were trained like Special Forces and sought to link the killings to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections.

"These terrorists were highly trained like Special Forces to carry out the attacks," Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha, General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, told the media.

There was enough evidence to indicate that the attackers were from the LeT terrorist group, he said.

The LeT, led by Hafiz Saeed, had also masterminded the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that left 166 Indians and foreigners dead in India's commercial capital and almost triggered a war between India and Pakistan.

Lt. Gen. Saha said the terrorists appeared to be prepared to wage a long battle.

"The kind of ammunition they had shows they were in for a big haul. Six AK-47 rifles, magazines and 1,415 rounds were recovered along with food items suggesting they wanted to stay for a long battle."

The terrorists are believed to have crossed the Jhelum river in Uri as the water level was low there to carry out the deadliest attacks of the day in Uri sector in Baramulla district.

The attack began before dawn when a suicide squad struck at an army camp killing eight soldiers and three policemen who tried to intervene. All six terrorists were killed hours later after a fierce gun battle.

The same day, terrorists also carried out attacks at three other places, leaving a total of 21 people dead including those killed in Uri.

"The type of infiltration and attacks ... proves these attacks were highly coordinated," Lt.Gen. Saha said.

"All the incidents leading to the attacks, including the ceasefire violations, could not have happened without coordination from across (the border)," he said, alluding to Pakistan.

At least 100 terrorists have been killed so far this year compared to 89 last year in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

The terrorists must have infiltrated the border Dec 3-4, hid in the forests and struck Dec 5 in a planned manner, the military officer said.

Without directly referring to the assembly polls or Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Srinagar, he said the terror attacks took place "because of the larger events taking place in Jammu and Kashmir".

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