Army foils infiltration bid; militant killed, 2 injured

Fayaz Bukhari

Troops in action at Keran sector on Monday. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Srinagar, July 29: Army today foiled an infiltration bid by militants in North Kashmir’s Keran sector and eliminated one militant while search for two other infiltrated militants, who were critically injured was going on.
In the meantime, a fierce gun battle raged at Bailiyan in Hafruda forests of Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district this evening.
SP Handwara, Chowdhary Aslam told Excelsior that the gun battle raged after security forces got information about the militant movement in the forest area. “Handwara police and 6 Rashtriya Rifles of Army launched an operation. In the evening, they established contact with the militants”, the SP said.
“Heavy exchange of fire between militants and security forces is going on in the forest area. Nothing can be said about the casualties and number of militants who are involved in the gun battle yet. We have to wait till morning”, Aslam said.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Kupwara based 28-Division of the Army, Major General Lalit Pandey, said that one infiltrator was killed while two others are critically injured and they are hiding near the LoC.
While giving details, the GOC said that at around 3 a.m. troops deployed along the LoC observed suspicious movement near the fence at Shalbato forward post. “Our troops challenged them and they opened fire and our troops returned the fire. The encounter took place in the dark of the night and we fired illumination rounds to light up the area”, the GOC said.
“We recovered a body, two AK-47 Rifles, three pouches, a bag containing dry food during the searches of the area that we conducted at first light. There are two more militants hiding in the area but they are critically injured. The search operation to nab them is going on”, Major General Pandey said.
This is the second major infiltration bid that was foiled in Keran sector by Army this month. Army killed 5 infiltrating militants in the sector on July 10. However, they could not retrieve the bodies of these militants as they were killed on the LoC near Pakistani forward posts. The 5 killed militants belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen and the outfit later confirmed their death.
On July 19, Army foiled a major infiltration bid in Gurez sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. One militant was killed while the rest of the group comprising 3-4 militants fled back to Pakistan under the cover of darkness.
On July 24, Army killed three militants on the LoC in Uri sector of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. However, Pakistani troops didn’t allow the Army to retrieve the bodies as they continuously fired on Army search party that had gone to retrieve the bodies.
Of late there has been spurt in the infiltration attempts from across the LoC. The GOC said that there are around are 350 militants waiting on the launching pads on the other side of the LoC opposite to Tangdhar, Keran, Macchil and Gurez sectors in North Kashmir.
The General said that Army along the LoC is on high alert to foil any attempt by the militants to infiltrate.
According to Army sources, militants are desperate to fill the void created by successful operations in Kashmir valley during which several top commanders were killed during past two years.


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