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Year in Review of Kashmir front (Relevant for GS Prelims and Mains Paper II)

The year 2016 has been one of the worst in recent times for the Army in terms of casualties in Jammu and Kashmir with major attacks on military installations and heightened tensions along the border with Pakistan.

1.    Pathankot Air base attack: It began on a bitter note with an attack on the Pathankot Air Force station in the early hours of January 2.

2.    Uri and Nagotra Attack: There were major attacks on Army bases in Uri and Nagrota in the latter part of the year, resulting in significant casualties on security forces. There was also a dramatic spike in cross-border firing after the Uri attack.

3.    Rise in infiltration bids: With increase in infiltration attempts, the number of terrorists killed has also gone up. Over 140 terrorists were neutralised. There was also an upward trend in the number of suicide attacks compared with the last two years.

4.    Unrest due to killing of Burhan Wani: Things took a dramatic turn particularly after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in July which plunged the Kashmir Valley into a spiral of protests and violence.

5.    Active border: The ceasefire declared by India and Pakistan along the border in 2003 and which brought relative peace came under severe stress this year especially after the Uri terror attack which claimed the lives of 19 soldiers and the resultant ‘surgical strikes’ carried out by the Army along the Line of Control (LoC).

6.    Increase in militant ranks: The number of terrorists in the Valley is estimated to be somewhere around 200-300.
After Burhan Wani’s killing there is a rise in radicalisation among the youth and more locals have joined militant ranks.

Statistics of loss of army personals:
The Army lost 63 personnel in Jammu & Kashmir, almost double that of last year. In 2015, it lost 33 personnel and in 2014, 32.



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