5 Militants Killed In Kupwara Encounter

5 Militants Killed In Kupwara Encounter

29 March 2012
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: In first major encounter this year five militants were killed in fierce gun battle with army and police in Kupwara district of north Kashmir on Wednesday. A police spokesman here said that following specific information about presence of militants in Laribal, Handwara in frontier Kupwara district, Special Operations Group of Police, 21 Rashtriya Rifles and 92 Bn CRPF launched a joint cordon-and-search operation this morning. “ Police sources said that five militants were present in the residential house of one Mohammad Iftikhar Geelani in Pir Mohalla, in village Laribal. ”As soon as the security forces cordoned off the area during the wee hours, besieged militants opened fire sparking a fierce gunbattle. Three militants managed to escape from the cordon in the cover of firing by their comrades. However, the security forces in a swift action gunned down all of them in a nearby Panjwani forest in Zachaldara belt. Three slain militants were identified as Abu Bakar, Ali Bhai and Zabiullah,” they said and added that two militants who had remained behind in the house were killed after the building was blasted in heavy mortar shelling. IGP Kashmir Range S M Sahai, who had rushed to Kupwara to supervise the encounter told reporters later that the slain militants were active in the area from the last few months. “It isn’t a new infiltration. It was a joint operation of police, army and CRPF,” he said. Identity of the two militants killed inside the house was not ascertained as their bodies were charred beyond recognition, police sources added. Police also claimed recovery of five AK-47 rifles and 17 magazines from the procession of the slain militants. “All the slain militants are believed to be affiliated with LeT outfit,” he said. Besides Inspector General of Police Kashmir, SM Sahai, IGP CRPF, Ravi Prakash also was present at the scene of encounter, the spokesman added.