4 Militants, Soldier Killed in Handwara Gunfight

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SRINAGAR: Four militants and an army commando were killed in an encounter at Handwara in Kupwara district on Thursday.

The Army spokesperson N.N.Joshi said that army’s 6 RR on a tip off, launched cordon-and-search operation in a forest area at Sochalwari village of Vilgam in Handwara late last evening. “As such the forces intensified the searches, the militants hiding inside the forest area opened heavy fire. The fire was retaliated resulted into an encounter,” he said.

Soon after the initial exchange of firefight, the forces cordoned the whole area to prevent the group of militants from escaping, he said. Subsequently, additional reinforcement of army’s 9 PARA and SOG reached to the spot.

“As the whole area was cordoned off the militants present in the area tried to break the cordon, however, the joint team of forces engage them in a gunfight. The firefight continued intermittently throughout the night but fierce exchange of firefight erupted early morning today which lasted for several hours,” he said.

“Four unidentified militants and a Para trooper of 9 Para Mohan Nath Goswami were killed during the firefight”, he said, adding that three army soldiers were also received bullet injuries.

The injured soldiers have been identified as JCO Mahendar Singh, HC Narender Singh and Sepoy Kuldeep Singh and were shifted to army’s 92 base hospital here in Srinagar for treatment.

 04 AK 47 rifles, 14 AK Magazines, 95 AK rounds, 04 pouches and 01 UBGL grenade were recovered from the encounter site, the official said.

He said that their identity and affiliation are yet to be ascertained. 

Pertinently, Handwara encounter broke out shortly after gunfight in Rafiabad’s Ladoora village ended with killing of an army soldier and a Lashkar-e-Islam militant, Riyaz Ahmad Mir. 

Bratkalan, Ladoora areas observe shutdown

Srinagar:  Bratkalan, the native place of slain Lashkar-i-Islami militant Reyaz Ahmed Mir and Ladoora area in Rafiabad in Baramulla district Thursday observed a complete shutdown against the killing of a militant in an encounter.

Lashkar-i-Islami militant Reyaz Ahmed Mir was killed in an encounter at Ladoora area of Rafiabad with government forces on Wednesday. One Army man was also killed during the gun fight. 

Eyewitnesses said that scores of people from Ladoora area blocked the road against what they say ‘trooper during the encounter damaged the house of a native where the militant was holed up.’ “The planting of IED and blasting of the house was unjustified,” said the protesters.

The protesters demanded a probe into the incident. Top police officials rushed to spot and successfully persuaded the protesters to end their protest.

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