US strongly condemns terror attack in Uri

New Delhi,   The US today strongly condemned the dastardly terror attack in Uri in which 17 soldiers were killed even as the State Department asserted it was "committed to our strong partnership" with India to combat terrorism.

"We strongly condemn the terror attack in Uri, J&K. Our thoughts are with the families of the brave soldiers who lost  their lives #UriAttack," US Ambassador to India Richard Verma tweeted.

Separately, the US State Department issued a statement in Washington strongly condemning the attack. "The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir during the early morning of September 18. We extend our condolences to the victims and their families. The United States is committed to our strong partnership with the Indian government to combat terrorism," John Kirby, Assistant Secretary and State Department spokesperson said in the statement released by the US embassy in New Delhi.

Heavily-armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the force in North Kashmir's Uri town in the wee hours, one of the deadliest attacks on the Army in recent years.

Explosions and gunfire erupted as the militants attacked the camp, which is located barely few metres away from the Army's Brigade Headquarters in Uri town, 102 kms from Srinagar, around 4 AM, official sources said.

The jawans of the Dogra Regiment were sleeping in a tent which caught fire due the explosion. The fire also engulfed the nearby barracks, the sources said.

It is believed that the attack was the handiwork of a group of freshly infiltrated militants who could have entered from an area along the Salamabad Nallah, the sources said. 

Seventeen jawans were killed in the terror attack, the Northern Command of the Army said while 19 other personnel were injured in the strike.

Four militants involved in the terror strike were killed  by the Army.

In January, seven military personnel were killed when six terrorists attacked the Pathankot air base. 

The attack comes two years after militants had carried out a similar type of attack at Mohra in the same area. Ten security personnel were killed in the attack that took place on December 5, 2014.