Security forces today gunned down five hardcore militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) in a fierce gun battle in Shopian district of south Kashmir even as the Army has warned of about possibility of attacks by Pakistan-based terror outfits on "soft targets" such as schools, religious places, military convoys and civilian areas in the state ahead of US President Barack Obama's India visit later this month.
Two hundred heavily-armed militants are waiting in 36 launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC) on the other side of Pir Panjal range, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 16 Corps, Lt Gen K H Singh said, adding that there is every possibility that Pakistan might try to push in the home grown terrorist outfits on this side of the border.
"There are general inputs that terrorists might try to attack soft targets, including schools, religions places, army convoys and other civilian areas," he told reporters.
Singh said the terror infrastructure across the border is active and they were receiving the support of Pakistani establishment, including the army and the ISI, but added the Indian Army was fully prepared to foil any such nefarious designs of the terrorist organisations.
"There are 14 to 15 terrorists training camp active on the other side of the line of control within our area of responsibility,'' he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag said on Thursday that the "fragile peace" in Jammu and Kashmir has been achieved at a great cost and now has to be maintained by building on the gains, even as he accused Pakistan of continuing to support proxy war in the state.
"The spectrum of operations has significantly increased over time," Singh said on the occasion of 67th Army Day, noting that security challenges have grown and become more complex.
Referring to J-K, the Army Chief said that the security situation there, though stable, requires consolidation.
The handsome voter turnout in the just-concluded election in the state -- the highest ever for Assembly elections -- reflects the trust of the people in the security system, he said.
On the challenge posed by terrorism, Singh warned that "the desperate strikes by the terrorists recently in our country as well as in Pakistan... are a grim reminder that the terrorist infrastructure across the border remains intact and Pakistan's support to the proxy war continues unabated".