Sept 18, 2016: When India woke up to find Pak had backstabbed, again

Seven years of Uri attack

NEW DELHI | Updated: 18 September, 2023 5:57 pm IST
On the 18 September 2016, a group of heavily armed terrorists launched an attack on the 12 Brigade Headquarters in Uri.

NEW DELHI: On September 18, 2016, the Indian army faced one of the darkest days in its recent history when a group of heavily armed terrorists launched an attack on the 12 Brigade headquarters in Uri, a town in Jammu and Kashmir.

This attack raised serious questions about the security of the Indian army. It has been seven years since the attack. In this article, we seek to understand the attack and its aftermath.

Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based terrorist organization, claimed responsibility for the attack. The attackers managed to infiltrate the heavily guarded perimeter and launch a coordinated assault on the military camp.

The terrorists used a combination of small arms, grenades, and incendiary materials, which resulted in a devastating fire that engulfed several tents housing the soldiers. The initial surprise attack left the soldiers with little time to react, leading to a significant loss of life.

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India’s response

The Indian government took several steps to address the situation. India boycotted Pakistan on the global stage, cutting all diplomatic ties with its neighbor, making strong allegations that the attackers were in cahoots with the Pakistani government, while demanding that the country take stringent action against them.

More importantly, however, it was with the Uri attack that the Indian government conducted its first surgical strike on September 29, 2016, targeting only terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control. The operations were aimed at controlling illegal infiltration at the border and teaching Pakistan a lesson in its own language. This attack made it very evident that India would not tolerate cross-border terrorism.

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Pakistan’s reaction

Pakistan, however, denied any involvement in the Uri attack and rejected India’s claims about the identity of the attackers. Pakistan’s government insisted that it was not responsible for the actions of non-state actors and called for a joint investigation into the incident. This response further strained the already tense relationship between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

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