Top LeT comdr among 2 militants, jawan killed

Top LeT comdr among 2 militants, jawan killed

25 September 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: A top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander was among two militants and an Army personnel killed while two Army jawans including an officer were injured in a fierce encounter in Handwara forests of North Kashmir today. Commander 7-Sector of Army, Brigadier A Arun, told Excelsior that last night Army launched an operation in the maize fields and forests of Haril in Handwara after they received information about the presence of militants in the area. He said that militants fired at the Army party resulting in a fierce encounter. In the early morning, the Army party was again fired at by militants. Army returned the fire killing one militant. The gun fight continued till this afternoon resulting in the killing of another militant at around 1 p.m. One Army jawan identified as Sandeep Kumar of 30 RR was killed and an Army commando, Captain Manish of 9 Para and Army jawan were injured in the encounter. They have been removed to 92-Base Hospital of the Army at Chinar Corps Headquarters of Army in Srinagar. Commander 7-Sector of Army said that the first militant who was killed early in the morning was a top commander of the LeT. He said that as per the matrix sheets, maps and GPS devices recovered from him it appeared that he was a top commander of the LeT. The commander said that the militant group that was trapped appeared to have recently infiltrated. The Army sources said that it was a group of around 8 militants that was trapped by the Army, which was using surveillance helicopters to track the movement of the group. Reinforcements have been rushed to the forest area and 30 RR, 32 RR, 6 RR, 9 Para, 6 Para of the Army and SOG Handwara are involved in the operation that has been extended to more forest area to prevent militants from fleeing towards the hinterland. The outer cordon is laid by 52 RR, 22 RR and 29 RR of the Army and a vast area has been encircled by the troops. The Army have recovered 2 AK 47 rifles, 6 magazine, 150 rounds, 2 Matrix sheet, 4 maps, 2 wireless sets, 2 GPS, one compass, 2 pouchs 2 and Indian currency from the dead militants. The Handwara forests where the militants group has been trapped is considered to be forest hideout of infiltrated militants. Last month Army killed divisional commander of LeT Abu Hanzala in these forests. Hanzala had made these forests permanent base for past few years and was responsible for infiltrating militants into Kashmir valley. He was providing them money and other logistic support. Army said militant groups were desperate to send commanders into Kashmir valley from across the LoC to compensate the losses suffered by them during past one year. Army had trapped another group of recently infiltrated militants in Uri forests near the LoC in the middle of this month killing two militants of the group including LeT commander. The operation lasted about 10 days and was called off after rest of the militants of the group fled from the Army cordon.