7 Militants Believed Dead, Operation On In Kupwara

7 Militants Believed Dead, Operation On In Kupwara

25 September 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: At least seven militants are believed to be dead in a fierce gun battle that is going on in North Kashmir’s Trehgam area near the Line of Control (LoC) after Army trapped a heavily armed group of around 15 militants last night. Army sources said that troops noticed the movement of a large group of around 15 infiltrators last night near the LoC and launched a major operation against them in Shalabato area in North Kashmir district of Kupwara. Army sources said that the movement of the group was noticed after Army’s thermal imaging devices installed at the LoC picked up heavy militant movement near the LoC. They added that trapped militants were asked to surrender. However, they opened fire on soldiers leading to fierce gun battle. The local Army unit posted at Shalabato area near the LoC initially launched the operation but they were later joined by Army’s elite para-commandos as the group was heavily armed and large. Army helicopters were hovering over the area for whole day and reports said that they carried scores of sorties for tracking the militants in the dense forest area. Unconfirmed reports said that half of the group has been eliminated by the Army, which has suffered some non-fatal causalities. They said that the Army has sent more troops to the area to prevent militants from fleeing the cordoned area. This is the biggest group of militants that was trapped by the Army near the LoC this year. Army sources said that normally for past several years only small groups of 3-5 militants were infiltrating at a time and bring in a huge group is something new in recent past. Meanwhile, a police constable was killed at village Naina in Batapora area of Pulwama district tonight. Police said that constable Mohammad Altaf Wani, 28, son of Ghulam Ahmad Wani of Naina was coming out of Masjid after offering night prayers when militants fired at him. Leaving Wani in a pool of blood, militant fled from the spot. He was rushed to the hospital by his relatives and neighbours but succumbed on the way. Army and police launched searches in the area to nab the militants responsible for the killing. Wani was suspended early this year and was presently attached to District Police Lines Srinagar. He was allegedly involved in extortion in Bijbehara area and his service weapon has been seized by Police and is lying with the Bijbehara Police Station. This is the second strike by militants in 24 hours as last night they shot dead a man in North Kashmir’s forest village in Sopore area. The man was taken out of his house by a group of militants and later shot dead.