2016 was the worst year for the armed forces in the recent past. At least 87 army personnel lost their lives in terror attacks in Jammu & Kashmir this year. Out of 87, as many as 71 soldiers have been killed in Kashmir valley alone. Previously, 90 army personnel had been killed in a year in 2008.
As per terror attack data site South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), 84 soldiers had been killed till December 11, 2016. But on Saturday, three more soldiers lost their lives in Pulwama district of the state when two motorcycle-borne assailants opened fire at an Army convoy along the Srinagar-Jammu highway. The eyewitnesses said that the attackers resorted to indiscriminate firing at the vehicles carrying army men in Pampore area of the district.
Pampore has been constantly targetted by the terrorists in recent times. In February this year, terrorists attacked an Army convoy and took refuge in the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building here. The same building was attacked in October again leading to a three-day long encounter between the attackers and security forces.
According to SATP, at least 163 terrorists have also lost their lives in gunbattle with the security forces this year.
Contrary to SATP data, Indian Express quoted Defence Ministry sources claiming that the Indian Army lost 60 soldiers till December 15. Out of the given number, 23 jawans have been killed during counter-terror operations along the Line of Control.
Tensions between India and Pakistan are at an all-time high following the September 18 Uri attacks in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed. The Army conducted surgical strikes on seven terror pads across the Line of Control in the wee hours of September 29. Since then, there has been an increase in the number of ceasefire violations as well as terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, the sources in the Indian Army told Express that around 100 terrorists had been killed during the counter-terror operations.