‘Difficult’ Kupwara Encounter Ends 

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Srinagar—Even as government forces on Thursday called off a two-day long “difficult” operation in the Halmatpora area of Kupwara where ten persons lost their lives, the inspector general of police (IGP),  SP Pani, said that all the five militants killed in the encounter were foreigners.

The IGP said that it had been very difficult operation in view of thick vegetation and open area

 “All the five militants were foreigners, and on the basis of material recovered from the site of the gunfight, it seems that they were associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militant outfit,” he said.

 “The operation is at the “controlling stage” and searches are underway at some places,” Pani said.

The army honoured its dead at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Badamai Bagh cantonment while similar obsequies were held for the Special Police Officer (SPO) and the SOG personnel by their colleagues.

In a statement issued after the army’s wreath-laying ceremony at the cantonment, a defence spokesman said that the mortal remains of the soldiers had been flown for last rites to their native places, where they would be laid to rest with full military honours.

The five slain militants were buried at the Rangwar area of Chowkibal in the northern district of Kupwara with the help of the local auqaf committee, reports said.

The police also paid floral tributes to two of its personnel, SgCT Deepak Thusoo of Nagrota Jammu and SPO Mohammad Yusuf of Kachhama, who were killed in the Kupwara encounter.

“Member Parliament Fayaz Ahmad Mir led the police and security force officers in paying tributes to the martyrs. Among others who paid tributes were SSP Kupwara Shri Shamsher Husain, DySPs and other officers,” a police spokesman said.

On Thursday morning, Inspector General of Police Shri S.P Pani led the Police and Security forces officers in a wreath-laying ceremony on the mortal remains of martyr SgCT Deepak Thusoo at District Police Lines Srinagar, the spokesman said

The Halmatpora encounter started when a group of militants believed to be seven in number fired upon a joint team of army and SOG at Chack Fatehkhan forests on Tuesday afternoon. 

The army had rushed reinforcement of 5 Bihar and 4 para commandos to the encounter site and had cordoned off the peripheries of the Halmatpora forests to prevent militants from escaping escape.

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