Srinagar, May 26: Army today foiled a major infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Tanghdar sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district killing five heavily armed militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
Srinagar based Defence spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia said here that army foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Tangdar today killing 5 militants. He said that operation is in progress.
Sources said that these militants had managed to infiltrate into Tangdar yesterday through Eagle Post area but were being tracked by the army’s 20 JAT regiment after they had a brief gun fight with them.
They said that this morning at around 6:30 a.m. troops spotted these militants in the forest area and challenged them. Five militants were killed in the gun battle while the searches of the area are going on to ensure that there are no further militants left.
Huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the encounter site. The militants are believed to be of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
The area is traditional infiltration route but was abandoned by the militants for long time before they re-activated it in 2016 but failed in their designs.
Sources said that the recently killed militants in Brinjal forest area of Vilgam, Handwara had also infiltrated from Tanghdar. The group was intercepted by the soldiers of 15 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) on May 19 and four members were killed.
Sources said that it was a big group of around 20 militants who had infiltrated from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and split into 4 groups, of which, one was eliminated. The operation against the rest of their members is still on.
The killing of 5 militants in Tanghdar comes a day after Army chief General Bipin Rawat called upon Pakistan to stop infiltration to establish peace along border. “We want peace at borders but as you know Pakistan continuously violates ceasefire that causes loss of life and property and in such a case we have to retaliate but if Pakistan wants peace, we expect them to take initiative, which will start with them stopping infiltration,” he said.
Army says that there are around 250 militants waiting on the LoC in PoK for infiltration. The troops have intensified vigil along the LoC and strengthened the counter-infiltration gird to foil the infiltration.
Last year, as per the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) figures a record numbers of militants, 120, infiltrated into Kashmir. And this year despite the tight vigil at least 8-9 groups of militants have managed to infiltrate into Kashmir.
Sources said that there are 28 active launch pads in PoK this year where militants to be infiltrated are taken. They said that this year JeM is more active than LeT and mostly the Jaish cadres are being infiltrated.
Last year security forces achieved major successes and killed 208 militants including top commanders of JeM, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen in the ‘Operation All Out.’
This year security forces have killed 77 militants so far and 32 security forces personnel and equal number of civilians were also killed.
Army says that successful operation last year and this year, the militants across are trying to infiltrate in large numbers to fill the depleting numbers.