Infiltration bid foiled, 3 militants killed

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, May 18: Army today killed three militants in a fierce gun battle at Brinjal forest area of Vilgam, Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Sources said that the soldiers of 15 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) of Army intercepted a group of militants believed to be infiltrators at Brinjal forest adjacent to Shahnagar Jat Gali, around 7 kilometres away from tehsil headquarter Vilgam.
The group of militants opened fire on the security forces which was retaliated by the troops triggering a gun battle. The encounter lasted for several hours during which three infiltrators were gunned down by the troops.

Sources said that this group of militants comprising 5-6 members infiltrated few days ago and was in the forest area before it was spotted by the troops of 15 RR of Army.
The reinforcements have been sent to the area and vast forest area is under cordon, where the searches are being conducted for the other members of the group. Army has recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition from the killed militants.
The organization to which the group belonged is being ascertained. However, sources said they could be of either Lashkar-e-Toiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant outfits.
Army said there are around 250 militants waiting on the LoC in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The troops have intensified vigil along the LoC and strengthened the counter-infiltration gird to foil the intrusion attempts and Border Action Team (BAT) strikes on the border posts.
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 5-6 groups of militants have managed to infiltrate into Kashmir. One of the groups, however, has been eliminated. Security agencies have apprehensions that there will be more attempts of infiltration this year after major successes achieved by the security forces last year.
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 cardes 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 72 militants so far and 32 security forces personnel and equal number of civilians were also killed.