Gun Battle In Handwara, 3 Army Men Injured

Gun Battle In Handwara, 3 Army Men Injured

31 July 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Three Army personnel were injured, one of them critically, in a fierce gun battle during an operation that has been launched three days ago in the Hafrooda forests of Handwara in district Kupwara. Sources said that a search party of 21 Rashtriya Rifles of counter insurgency Kilo Force was fired upon in the Hafrooda forests of Handwara this evening leading to injuries to 3 Army personnel. One of them is critically injured and all of them have been removed to hospital for treatment. Following the gun battle, more troops were rushed to the spot where the Army search party was fired upon. However, militants are hiding in the dense woods. Sources said that search is going on but it is not certain whether any militant was killed in the gun fight or not. “The searches of the encounter site in the morning will be conducted for the militants”, sources added. Superintendent of Police Handwara, Chowdhary Aslam told Excelsior that the security forces launched an operation in the Hafrooda forests after they got information about the militant movement in the forest area on July 29. “Handwara police and 6 Rashtriya Rifles of Army launched an operation and on July 29 evening they established contact with the militants”, he said. “Heavy exchange of fire between militants and security forces in the evening of July 29 but in the morning on July 30 no militant was found in the area. The security forces recovered only some pouches and a rucksack”, said SP Aslam. Sources said that security forces spotted 5-6 militants at Baila in Hafrooda forests of Handwara in North Kashmir on July 29. More troops including 32 RR, 6 RR and 9 Para commandos of Army joined the operation on July 30 after the militants escaped from the encounter site of July 29 at Baila. The troops have been searching the entire forests area for the group of militants since July 30. The helicopters were also pressed into service to track the militant movement in the dense forests. The rains and freak weather yesterday hampered the operation but the troops continued to search them despite freak weather.