5 Militants, JCO Killed In Handwara Gunfight

2 December 2014
Greater Kashmir
Shabir ibn Yusuf

Srinagar: Five militants and a Junior Commissioned Officer of Army were killed and three soldiers injured in an encounter at LOC in Nowgam Sector of north Kashmir's Handwara tehsil, Army said Tuesday. One militant is still trapped and the gunfight is on. The incident took place a day after Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh visited forward posts in north Kashmir. A senior Army official of Baramulla-based 19 Infantry Division told Greater Kashmir that soldiers of Garwal regiment noticed movement of at least six suspected people at Chati-Tut Mari Gali (TMG) in Nowgam Sector near Shamshabari Ridge, early Tuesday. 'They were asked to stop. However they opened heavy fire, resulting in an encounter,' he said, adding, 'In the exchange of fire, three heavily armed unidentified militants were initially killed.' He said in the afternoon, hiding militants opened fire on soldiers during searches. 'In the second phase of fire, two more militants were killed. One JCO and three soldiers were also injured,' he said, adding, 'The injured were evacuated, but the JCO succumbed to his injuries on way to a hospital.' He said the condition of injured soldiers is stable. The slain JCO was identified by Army as SubedarVardhan. 'The operation is on,' he said. 'All escape routes have been blocked and more reinforcement has been sent to the area to assist already-deployed soldiers.' The official said the area has received snow. 'The terrain is very difficult. Soldiers along the Line of Control are alert and are ready to meet any eventuality. We are constantly carrying out combing operations.'