Gun Battles Rock Sopore, 3 Militants Killed

Operation On, 3 Forces Men Injured

SRINAGAR: Three militants, including a commander, have been killed in two separate ongoing gun battles in the northern township of Sopore on Thursday, even as a top Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander is reported to have given the forces a slip in the frontier district of Bandipur yesterday.  

The Sopore gun battles were said to have broken out during specific operations, and several areas, including forest tracts, outside the town were under army and police cordon for searches when reports last came in.

An unidentified militant was killed in a fierce encounter in the Tcher Hara forests in the outskirts this afternoon following an overnight siege by the 27 RR and the 9 Para in forests close to the Bomai area.

According to the police, intermittent firing was still on within the cordon. Unconfirmed reports said that three forces personnel had been injured in the battle.

Two more militants, both unidentified, were killed in the Mandi area outside Sopore in a gun battle with troops of the 22 RR and personnel of the Special Operations Group of the police.

Reports said that the army the SOG took many areas under siege and conducted searches at several places, even as, according to the police, an exchange of fire was still on.     

Meanwhile, a top Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander was said to have slipped through the forces dragnet in the northern district Bandipur, managing to escape under the cover of gunfire.

The incident occurred on Wednesday in the Aloosa neighbourhood which had been surrounded by the 27 RR for searches early in the morning.

The army had received reports that LeT chief commander Fahadullah was billeted in the house of sarpanch Muhammad Shafi along with three other associates.

The foursome, however, slipped out of the cordon after a brief exchange of fire with the forces. 

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