Cop, soldier martyred in Khrew gun battle

A JKP jawan rescue a Kashmiri child from an encounter site in Khrew, Pulwama in South Kashmir on Tuesday. -Excelsior/ Younis Khaliq
A JKP jawan rescue a Kashmiri child from an encounter site in Khrew, Pulwama in South Kashmir on Tuesday. -Excelsior/ Younis Khaliq

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Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 21: Two security forces personnel were martyred this morning during an encounter with militants in Khrew area of Pampore in Pulwama district of South Kashmir.
Acting on a tipoff, security forces including 50 RR of Army and Awantipora Police raided a militant hideout in Zantrag forest area of Khrew where militants were believed to be hiding.
As the forces zeroed-in on the hideout in the forest village, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately on the troops resulting in fatal injuries to an Army and SOG personnel.
They were immediately evacuated to Army’s base hospital at Badami Bagh Cantonment for specialized treatment. However, they succumbed to their injuries. Both of them had received multiple bullet injuries and had suffered blood loss.
The deceased have been identified as Rifleman Rahul of 50 RR and SOG personnel Shahbaz Ahmad of Manjakote, Rajouri.

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More troops were rushed to the area and entire forest area was sealed off to prevent militants from fleeing. However, militants fled from the spot after the initial encounter and security forces conducted searches of the forest villages but could not trace them after the first contact.
The cordon has been strengthened and massive manhunt launched against these militants. The operation is going on even during the night in freak weather conditions when it is snowing in the area. Security forces don’t want to allow the militants to flee from the area so they are leaving no stone unturned and have plugged the all exit routes of the area.
There are believed to be at least two militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit, most probably foreigners who were hiding in the village. Security forces had received their information and were tracking them for last few days.
This is the first time this year that security forces have suffered casualties. This year security forces conducted successful operations in which eight militants including two top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed and besides deputy commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Hammad Khan was also arrested along with DSP Devinder Singh.