Sopore Encounter Over, Militants Escape Again31 January 2010
The Indian Express
Srinagar: The militants hiding in a house in Sopore since Saturday evening have managed to escape after breaking the cordon laid by the Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Special Operations Group. The police claim to have recovered a rifle from the place. This is for the fourth consecutive time that the militants have managed to escape after engaging the security forces in a gunbattle - thrice in Kashmir valley and once in Jammu region’s Kishtwar district. On Saturday evening, the Army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles and J-K Police’s SOG cordoned off New Colony neighbourhood of Sopore after a specific input about the presence of militants in a house. Soon after the security cordon, the militants opened fire on the security forces, which was retaliated. However, taking advantage of darkness, the militants managed to escape. On Sunday morning, as there was no gunfire from the militants, the soldiers launched a search operation expecting to find the body of a slain militant; they could only find an AK 47 rifle. “When we searched the area in the morning, we didn’t find any body,” Station House Officer, Sopore, Abdul Aziz Qadri, told The Indian Express. “We recovered just a rifle and some ammunition.” Police sources said a Hizbul Mujahideen militant was holed up inside the house. The house was damaged during the encounter. On January 23, two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants escaped from Qaimoh village in Kulgam after the Army, assisted by J-K Police, cordoned off the area. This was followed by an incident at Kalampora, Pulwama, where militants escaped after breaking the security cordon. A civilian was killed in the encounter. On January 29, four LeT militants managed to give slip to the Army after killing two soldiers at Dachan area of Kishtwar in Jammu region.