The 2016 Uri attack was carried out on 18 September by four Jaish-e-Mohammed insurgents allegedly from Pakistan against an Indian Army brigade headquarters near the town of Uri in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. 19 Indian soldiers were killed in the attack, and 19–30 others were injured. It was reported by the BBC as having been “the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades”.
Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based jihadist organization (designated as a terrorist organization by the India, Australia, the US, and UK among others), was involved in the planning and execution of the attack. At the time it was carried out, the Kashmir Valley was experiencing high levels of violent unrest.
At around 5:30 a.m. on 18 September, four insurgents attacked an Indian Army brigade headquarters in Uri, near the Line of Control in a pre-dawn ambush. They were said to have lobbed 17 grenades in three minutes. As a rear administrative base camp with tents caught fire, 17 army personnel were killed during the attack. An additional 19–30 soldiers were reported to have been injured. A gun battle ensued lasting six hours, during which all the four individuals were killed. Combing operations continued to flush out additional militants thought to be alive.
Most of the Indian soldiers had suffered casualties and subsequently those who died were from the 10th battalion, Dogra Regiment (10 Dogra) and 6th battalion, Bihar Regiment (6 Bihar).One of the injured soldiers succumbed to his injuries on 19 September at RR Hospital in New Delhi, followed by another soldier on 24 September, bringing the death toll to 19.
The casualties were primarily believed to have occurred as a result of non-fire retardant transition tents. This was the time of a troops shift, whereby troops from 6 Bihar were replacing troops from 10 Dogra. The incoming troops were housed in tents, which are normally avoided in sensitive areas around the LoC like Uri. The insurgents snuck into the camp breaching heavy security and seemed to know exactly where to strike. Seven of the personnel killed were support staff, including cooks and barbers.
On 19 September, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Chief of the Army Staff Dalbir Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other officials of the Home and Defence ministries met to review the security situation in Kashmir, particularly in areas along the Line of Control.The National Investigation Agency filed a first information report regarding the attack and took over the investigation from Jammu and Kashmir Police on 20 September.
Pakistan International Airlines cancelled flights to some parts of Kashmir on 21 September in the aftermath of the attack.Security around the army installation in Uri was intensified following the attack, while soldiers on both the Indian and Pakistani side of Line of Control were placed on high alert.
Pakistan with responsibility for the attack, saying that India would “never forget” Uri and would “leave no stone unturned to isolate Pakistan in the world.” He called upon the citizens of both India and Pakistan to fight against poverty. “I want to say that India is ready for a war… India is ready for a war on poverty. Let both countries fight to see who would eradicate poverty first… I want to tell the youth of Pakistan, let’s have a war on ending unemployment… I want to call out to the children in Pakistan, let’s declare war on illiteracy. Let’s see who wins.”
In further responding to the attack, on 26 September, the Indian government stated it would exercise its rights under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty to the full and would expand its utilisation of its rivers flowing through Jammu and Kashmir. Talks under the aegis of the Permanent Indus Commission, to which any disputes may be submitted, would cease “until terror comes to an end.” The body had most recently met in July 2016. The government subsequently stated it would review Pakistan’s most-favoured-nation (MFN) trade status, which India had granted in 1996.
It also reported that there was specific intelligence input from the Intelligence Bureau two days earlier that an attack was being planned against army formations close to the LOC.The intelligence agency had said that three fidayeen squads were launched from Pakistan-administered Kashmir. One of them attacked Uri, another went to Poonch where it was engaged by the security forces, and the third is believed to be targeting Srinagar highway.The India Today Television mentioned that, according to unnamed intelligence sources, Pakistan was plotting a “spectacular event” ahead of Nawaz Sharif’s speech to the UN General Assembly.