Major Among 2 Soldiers Killed in Militant Ambush in Shopian

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Shopian—Two army men, including an officer, were killed while another soldier was injured after militants ambushed an army patrol party in Shopian district of south Kashmir early on Thursday.

An official said that militants attacked a joint team of army, police and CRPF patrol in Zaipora village in Imam Sahab Shopian early Thursday.

A police officer said that a joint team of Army’s 62 RR, SOG and CRPF Wednesday mid night launched a cordon-and-search operation of  village Matribugh, Zoipora in the southern district following a tip off about the presence of some militants there.

As such the joint team of forces intensified the combing operation, the militants present in the area opened fire triggering off an encounter, the officer said.

In the initial gunfight, an army Major Kamlash Pandey along with two soldiers Sepoy Tanjin Chhutin and Kripal Singh sustained bullet injuries, he said.

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The wounded soldiers were immediately rushed to 92 base Army hospital in Badamibagh Srinagar where two soldiers, including Major Kamlesh Pandey succumbed to their injuries.

The soldier who lost his life was identified as Tenzin Chultin. The wounded soldier Kripal Singh has been undergoing treatment at Army hospital.

Militants reportedly managed to escape from the army cordon following the encounter, these reports said.

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Hizb claims responsibility

Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Spokesperson Burhanuddin told news agency CNS that the attack was carried out near Zaipora village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district.

“The valiant militants of our outfit laid an ambush and attacked an army party from all sides. Five Indian soldiers were killed and many others were injured. The militants managed to reach to their destinations safely after the daring attack,” Barhanuddin said.

He added that Hizb Commander Mehmood Ghaznavi has decided to reward the militants for carrying out such attack.

“Such attacks will continue across Kashmir Valley,” he said.

Army pays tribute to slain soldiers

Army paid homage to two of its soldiers who were killed in a militant ambush in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Thursday morning.

Besides officials from civil and police administration, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Lieutenant General JS Sandhu participated in the ceremony.

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The Chief Minister paid rich tributes to the officer and the jawan for their bravery and valour. She conveyed her sympathies with the bereaved families.

Mehbooba Mufti also wished a speedy recovery for the other soldier injured in the incident.

As per an army handout, the slain army officer Major Kamlesh Pandey who hailed from hailed from Almora, Uttrakhand had joined the Army in June 2012. He is survived by his wife and a two year old daughter.

Sepoy Tanzin Chhultim of Lahaul Spiti, Himachal Pradesh had joined the Army in September 2012 and is survived by his parents. The mortal remains of the duo will be taken to their native places with full military honour. (CNS)

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