Army Officer, Militant Killed In Anantnag Gunfight

SRINAGAR — An army officer and a militant were killed while three soldiers, one of them a Major were injured in a gunfight in Anantnag district of south Kashmir on Monday. After day-long battle, an unspecified number of militants fled from the area.  

Reports said that a joint team of army’s 19 Rashtriya Rifles, SOG and CRPF laid a siege at Bidoora, Aknigam early morning.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Anantnag Altaf Khan said that the operation was launched following specific inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.

He said that as the joint team intensified the searches, the militants, hiding in the area, opened fire which was retaliated, triggering off a gunfight.

Initially, sources said, the joint team of forces and militants exchanged gunfire for some time during which house in which the militants were hiding was damaged. Later there was a lull for about an hour even as army rushed more reinforcements and the joint team started searches to find out the militants.

Soon the militants rose from the debris and opened indiscriminate fire on the forces, resulting in the on spot death of an army officer of major rank namely Keetan Sharma and injuries to three others including army major Rahul Verma, they said.

Sources said that the joint team of forces retailed the fire, leading to the fresh gunfight in an open field. While one militant was killed and the search operation is underway to find if there is any more militant hiding in the area.

The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is being ascertained, source said.

Meanwhile, youth took to streets and pelted stones at government forces. The police and paramilitary CRPF deployed in the area used tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse them.

In wake of the operation, the authorities snapped internet service in the southern district.

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