8 Militants, Cop Killed As Army Foils Intrusion Bids1 October 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Security forces today got major successes during counter-militancy operations in Kashmir valley as eight militants were killed in separate encounters but a policeman also laid down his life while battling the ultras. Army foiled a major infiltration bid in Machhil sector near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara district and killed five unidentified militants in the operation so far, official sources said. Troops laid an ambush at Maidan Behak in Machhil sector following information that a large group of militants was preparing to infiltrate into the Valley from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). As soon as contact was established with the infiltrators, the Army troops asked them to surrender but the militants opened indiscriminate firing on the security forces. Troops returned the fire, triggering off a fierce gun battle between the two sides, which left five militants dead. A huge cache of arms, ammunition, war like stores and sophisticated communication and navigation equipment have been recovered from the scene of encounter. Identity and group affiliation of the slain militants could not be ascertained immediately as the operation was still in progress. Army troops were carrying out searches of the forest area to look out for more militants. Army officials asserted that 300 to 400 militants are waiting on various launch pads located along the LoC on PoK side to sneak into Kashmir valley before snowfall, which will lead to closure of natural passes in the mountainous region. Army and BSF have intensified patrolling and vigil along the LoC to foil any bids by the militants to infiltrate into the Valley Three militants and a Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel were killed in an encounter in Kangan area of Ganderbal district which began last evening. Three other security force personnel and a civilian have been injured in the gun fight which was going on till reports last came in. The encounter at Chak-e-Akhal began yesterday when security forces launched a cordon-cum- search operation to flush out militants hiding in the area. 'Three militants have been killed in the encounter so far while the operation is still in progress,' a senior security force official said. The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant could not be ascertained immediately. One police man was injured in the initial firefight yesterday while two more security force personnel sustained injuries in the gun battle today. A civilian, working in his farm, was also injured when he was hit by a stray bullet. With the fresh militant deaths, the number of ultras killed in the past 31 days in Kashmir valley has now gone up to 50. A Defence spokesman here said the Army continued to focus on conducting relentless counter-infiltration operations on the Line of Control as well as elimination of militants in the hinterland. He said 42 well-armed and trained, both local and foreign militants, have been eliminated in the ongoing counter-terrorism operations conducted by the Army in September this year. 'Importantly, a number of cache of arms and ammunition has also been unearthed during this period. In the successful encounters, a large quantity of warlike stores including assault rifles, pistols, rocket propelled grenades, hand grenades, Improvised Explosive Device Equipment, detonators, mines and sophisticated communication equipment have been recovered by the Army, the spokesman said. He said the magnitude of this success in a single month has been unprecedented in recent years. The vigilant troops along the Line of Control have intercepted, engaged and eliminated 16 militants and while conducting joint operations with the SOG of J&K Police, based on actionable intelligence, in the hinterland, 26 militants were killed. 'The synergy between the security forces has resulted in these result oriented encounters. Significantly, despite the prevailing law and order situation, the counter terrorism operations were conducted with surgical precision and professionalism despite threat to own lives which resulted in no collateral damage to property or civilian lives. This is in consonance with the Army's policy of conducting 'People Friendly Operations',' he added.