Reyaz Rashid

Kupwara toll is ten

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3 troopers; 2 cops; another militant killed; operation on

Kupwara: Three Army troopers and two cops and one more militant were killed in two day long fierce encounter in Check Fatehkhan forest area of Halmatpora Kupwara on Wednesday taking toll to ten in the gunfight which broke out Tuesday afternoon.

A top Army official said that as operation resumed on Wednesday wee hours after killing of four militants, some militant hiding in woods opened indiscriminate fire on the combing search party in which five security personnel including two from the Special operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed.

“Four militant were killed yesterday and another gunned down today and five security personnel including two policemen attained martyrdom during the firefight in dense forest area. The militants belong to LeT,” a police official told Kashmir Images.

The operation now entered into its final stage but not declared over by the police as at least two more militants are reportedly still engaged in the gunfight, a police officer said adding the intensity of retaliatory firing from the other side (militants) has now declined.

Sources identified the slain Army soldiers as Mohammad Ashraf Rather and Naik Ranjeet Singh of 160 battalion TA and two SOG personnel Mohammad Yousuf Cheche (SPO) of Kachama, Kupwara and Deepak Pandit of Nagrota, Jammu.

The identity of the third army personnel was yet to be confirmed.

“All the five security personnel  were critically wounded and rushed to nearby Army camp for medical treatment but all of them succumbed to their injuries,” sources added.

They said that two more SOG men including Sub Inspector Harvinder Singh, an army soldier, and CRPF personnel were injured.

While the firefight continues overnight,  the combing operation was resumed  since morning and fierce gunfight was continuing when this report was being filed.

The army has claimed to have recovered three militant bodies from the encounter site.

The encounter started when a group of militants believed to be seven in number fired upon a joint team of army and SOG at Check Fatehkhan forests. The army has also rushed Para commandos to the area yesterday evening.

Officials said that it was possible that these militants had sneaked into the Valley recently and were waiting for an opportunity to cross into Lolab or Vilgam areas of Kupwara district.


CM pays tributes to killed Police, Army personnel

JAMMU, MARCH 21: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, has paid rich tributes to the four Police and Army personnel who were killed in Halmatpora Kupwara gunfight today.

She expressed solidarity with the bereaved families of the deceased and prayed for peace to the departed souls.

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