4 Soldiers, Militant Killed In Monday Clashes

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Para commandos, helicopters pressed to trace militants

KUPWARA/TRAL:Three major military operations against militants at two different places in north and one in south Kashmir have left four Indian army soldiers and an unidentified militant dead on Monday.

 Defence sources said that Army personnel from 21 and 6 RR and SOG Handwara cordoned off a vast portion of Tilpatren area, in Hafruda forests of Handwara district during the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. The area was cordoned off after the security agencies received inputs about the presence of 5 to 6 non-local militants in the dense forest.

 Reports said that Army personnel from 9 Para was brought there as a reinforcement after the militants resorted to indiscriminate firing on the search teams. Sources said that militants targeted army men on guerrilla pattern and shot dead three of them while the body of another missing soldier was recovered after a lull during morning hours. 

 The sources identified the slain Indian soldiers as Lance Naik Govind Singh, Sepoy Surinder Singh, Sepoy Sundar Raj and Sepoy Satram. “All the four slain soldiers were associated with Vilgam Handwara based 6 RR camp,” sources added.

Confirming the death of four army men, Srinagar based Defense spokesperson N.N.Joshi said that a post operation probe will be conducted at Unit level to overcome lacuna. “The killing of four soldiers in an operation is a big loss. The area is dense and search operation is on to flush out the militants who are believed to be five to six in number,” he said.

 The army along with the additional reinforcement launched massive searches to track down the militant group hiding inside the dense bushes, they said, adding the army has also pressed helicopters into service to trace out the hiding militants.

 Meanwhile, an unidentified militant was killed during a brief gunfight in Dardpora, Kupwara forests. Giving details, SSP Kupwara Ajaz Ahmed Bhat told CNS that, “We had inputs that there were some militants present in the forest. Soon  18 and 28 RR, SOG Kupwara cordoned the area. Contact with militants was established during early Monday morning. The militants fired upon the search parties and in retaliation, a militant was killed,” he said adding that search operation was going on in the dense forest area to flush out the militants.

 

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