Lashkar-e-Toiba fighters killed in encounter

13th May 1997

JAMMU:"Lashkar-e-Toiba", a Pakistan-based militant outfit comprising only foreigners, suffered a major blow in the frontier district of Kupwara in north Kashmir on Monday when five of its heavily armed activists were killed in an operation by troops of the Seven Sector Rashtriya Rifles (RR).

Seven-sector RR Commander, Brigadier Ravinder Nath, said a group of villagers had approached them for help on May 10 with news of a group of five heavily armed foreign militants having taken shelter in Bakihakar village.

The villagers had been forced to make an underground shelter for the foreign mercenaries in a house in Mir Mohalla locality, Brigadier Ravinder Nath who personally led the troops into the operation said.

Based on the information, 21 RR swiftly swung into operation and the village was effectively cordoned. The search operation commenced in the early hours of May 11 and all the villagers were moved to a safe distance to avoid civilian casualties in the exchange of fire, he said.The army officer said the mercenaries who were trapped inside were asked to surrender but they retaliated by bringing down heavy fire on the RR troops.

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