7 more militants killed in Gurez; toll 128 September 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Army today killed seven militants in the ongoing operation in Gurez sector of Bandipora district near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir, taking death toll in the four-day operation to 12. Seven militants were killed in the fresh gun battle between militants and Army troops in Baktoor area of Gurez sector, where the encounter had started on Sunday. Official sources said there was a lull in the exchange of firing between the two sides yesterday as the militants, who had infiltrated from across the LoC, had moved their positions deeper into the forest area. Defence Spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar confirmed the killing of seven militants but did not give further details about the operation. 'The anti-terrorist operation is still in progress … so it is not feasible to give any further details,' he added. Four militants and an Army jawan were killed in the fierce gun battle on Monday while another jawan was injured. Acting on specific information about presence of militants in Baktoor area of Gurez sector in Bandipora district, Army had launched an operation on Sunday to neutralize them. As soon as the soldiers noticed movement of the militants, they were asked to surrender but the ultras refused and opened heavy firing on the troops. Army troops returned the fire towards the militant positions, leading to a fierce exchange of firing between the two sides. The identity, group affiliation of the militants and the weapons recovered from them was not immediately known. According to intelligence reports, a group of over 20 militants, belonging to different outfits had sneaked in to the Valley from Gurez sector last week and security forces have launched massive operations in the forest area of Bandipora district to track them down. This is for the second time within two days that Army has managed to neutralize seven militants in a single day and comes close on the heels of a similar feat late last month when Army troops killed nine infiltrators in Uri sector of Baramulla district The infiltration of militants from across the LoC has been on the rise recently as Pakistani handlers of the ultras are desperate to push in as many militants as possible before the onset of winter in Kashmir. Army and BSF, guarding the Line of Control, have intensified the vigil to prevent the militants from sneaking into this side from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. According to reports, over 400 militants are waiting at various launch pads in PoK to cross over as the number of militants in the Jammu and Kashmir has been dropping due to continued success of the security forces against them.