Soldier Dies In Raging Bandipore Gun-Battle

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SRINAGAR: An army soldier was killed in a fierce gunfight at forest area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Wednesday evening.
Official sources said that army’s 14 RR, commandos of 7 PARA and Special Operation Group (SOG) of police Wednesday morning launched massive cordon-and-search operation in the forest area of Bhutoo, some 5 Kms from main town Bandipore.
Earlier, the joint team of forces had launched the operation at Slynder forest area of Shok Baba village in Summlar of the district to track down the militants present inside the forest area.
The troops, according to sources, fired few warning shots towards the suspected spot; the militants present in the area returned heavy fire triggering a gunfight between the two sides, they said.
During the initial gunfight, a soldier, Rifleman Samod of 14 RR sustained bullet wounds and was immediately evacuated to army’s 92 base hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, they said.
The sources said that army also pressed choppers into services and have sealed all exit routes.
Srinagar based defence spokesman confirmed that an army soldier lost his life in the ongoing operation.
“The joint team of forces launched the operation in the forest area following specific intelligence inputs about the presence of some militants”, he said.
Pertinently, after the killing of top notch police officer Altaf Ahmad Dar on October 07, there has been frequent cordon-and-search operation in the villages as well as forest areas of the Bandipore.
Dar, who was heading a Special Investigation team, was killed by a group of Lashar-i-Taiba militants, he was reportedly pursuing.

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