In the first attack, three heavily-armed terrorists killed one civilian and injured three others and the same group which was later intercepted by Army personnel killed one Army jawan. Two terrorists were also killed in the encounter while hunt has been launched for to trace the third militant.
According to information being collected by various security agencies, a 'Bolero' SUV was intercepted by three men near a bridge in Hiranagar area and all the occupants were asked to line up.
After separating driver of the vehicle, Taraseem Singh, the terrorists sprayed bullets on other passengers and fled in the vehicle. This left one person Ajit Ram, a resident of Vijaypur in Jammu, dead and three others injured.
One of the injured told the police that the only word uttered by the terrorists was "utro" (get down) and after which the driver was separated from the passengers who were fired upon. The three-- Kamaljeet Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Santokh Singh -- were being treated in hospital. They were on their way to Gurdaspur in Punjab from Jammu after attending a religious camp.
The terrorists were later intercepted near an Army camp and engaged in gun fight. In the ensuing encounter, Lance Naik V Anthony, who was guarding the rear gate of 111 Rocket regiment, was killed while another jawan was injured.
Two terrorists were also killed in the encounter while efforts were on to find the third, who had taken shelter in an under construction building.
The fate of the driver was still not known and the police believe that he too could have been killed by the terrorists.
Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Ashok Prasad told PTI that immediately after the police control room was informed at 4:47 AM, all check posts and security establishments were alerted.
Despite bad weather, helicopters were pressed into service to locate the vehicle which was finally spotted in a Nallah (seasonal canal) outside 111 Rocket division in Kathua, he said.
The higher ups of the army formation had been already informed and that's why the terrorists could not even approach the main gate of the army camp as an alert guard had engaged them in fire fighting.
The terrorists may have entered through Tarlah Nallah to carry out a suicide attack ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, police said.
The same route was used by terrorists to enter the state on September 26 last year in which 12 people including Lt Col Bikramjeet Singh was killed.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while condemning the attack, said he would comment on it only after the operation was over. "I'd like to unequivocally condemn today's militant attack in Kathua area of Jammu.
"As this is very much still an ongoing operation. I will not be commenting or reacting to today's events until the security forces have declared the operation as concluded," he said in his tweets.
The gunmen were intercepted after a two hour chase near an Army camp and a private college in Kalibari-Janglote belt of Kathua district, triggering a heavy exchange of fire between the two sides.