Army repulses BAT strike in Nowgam; 4 soldiers injured

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Aug 16: Four soldiers were injured as Army today repulsed an attack from the Border Action Team (BAT) on a forward post in Nowgam sector of Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Army’s 8 Bihar intercepted a group of militants near Sangam Post at around 9:20 am today. The group of militants after being challenged opened fire on the troops, triggering an encounter. Four soldiers were injured in the encounter, who were evacuated to a nearby medical facility. The Army fired on the militants and repulsed the attack.
Additional reinforcements of Army and Special Forces were rushed to the post and entire area has been cordoned off. Massive searches are going on in the area but so far nothing was recovered from the encounter site.
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However, sources said that it was a group of at least 7 highly armed militants who had come to target the Army’s forward post but the troops prevented the attack by timely detecting the movement of the group.
Sources said that after fierce encounter the militants fled back to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the cover of darkness and firing from Pakistani posts.
A senior Army officer said that the militants are desperate to infiltrate into Kashmir but the tight vigil has prevented their designs. He said that over 200 militants are waiting on the launch pads for infiltration. “In order to build pressure on the troops along the LoC in the sector, they tried to carry out the attack on the post which was repulsed”, he said.
This year so far as per the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) figures, 59 militants managed to infiltrate into Kashmir despite tight vigil along the LoC. Northern Army chief, Lt General Ranbir Singh last week visited the LoC in North Kashmir and asked the troops deployed along the LoC to maintain tight vigil and thwart infiltration of militants from the PoK.
In the meantime, security forces today cordoned off Tujjar Sharief in North Kashmir’s Sopore area. Sopore Police and 22 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) of Army launched searches in the village after inputs about presence of a group of militants hiding there.
The troops conducted house to house searches in the village during which the residents of the area pelted stones on the troops to disrupt the operation. Security forces fired teargas to disperse the stone pelting protesters. However, militants managed to escape under the cover of stone pelting. The operation was later called off by the troops.