The four terrorists who stormed the Nagrota-based Army camp killing seven soldiers, including two officers, had entered India and recced the camp at least a week ago, according to initial investigations, a top Ministry of Defence (MoD) official told HuffPost India.
Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh will be visiting the 16 Corps in Nagrota today to review the security situation. The army has been combing the area, search operations continuing even after daybreak.
MoD officials said the police uniforms that the terrorists were wearing have been stitched in India. "These couldn't have been done in a day, indicating that the terrorists were already in India for some time now," the official said.
"These couldn't have been done in a day, indicating that the terrorists were already in India for some time now."
Besides, equipment recovered from the killed terrorists also indicated that they were buying medicines regularly from local pharmacy stores, he said. "This also clearly indicates the terrorists had local support that housed them and helped them carry out the strike," the official said, adding that the presence of the terrorists and the local support hadn't been detected by either the local police or the security infrastructure.
From food packets and other items recovered, the MoD is certain that the terrorist didn't cover the distance from the border to the artillery base (about 30 kilometres) recently. "They had local support which went unnoticed," the official said.
Initial investigations also reveal that the four terrorists wearing police uniform tried to slip past the gate when they were stopped by the sentry. "One sentry died killing one of the terrorists while the others made their way into the Officer's Mess," the official said.
Three soldiers, including one officer, died during the initial engagement. Para commandos were deployed when the terrorists took 16 people hostage that included two women and two children. "The later casualties happened trying to ensure that hostages were rescued unharmed," he said.
The MoD will most likely ask the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to examine how the movement of terrorists had not been detected for more than a week. The MHA oversees the primary internal security agency of the country, that is, the Intelligence Bureau.
In all, seven army personnel were killed and eight other securitymen, including a BSF DIG, were injured, before six heavily-armed terrorists were eliminated in two separate encounters in Jammu yesterday.