Major success for troops, 6 militants killed in Kupwara

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, June 23:  In a major success against the recently infiltrated militants, security forces today killed six militants in two separate gun battles in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district while third gun battle is on in Wuder  Bala forests of Handwara.
Acting on a tip off about the presence of militants in Lolab, the Army’s 18 RR and Police cordoned off Dobwan forest area in Khurhama this morning.
Militants hiding inside the forests opened fire on the search party of the security forces and tried to break the security cordon. However, the security forces engaged them in a gunfight. The heavy exchange of fire continued for several hours in which three militants were killed.
A security force officer said here that three militants were killed and the searches in the area lead to recovery of three bodies. “Bodies of all the three militants have been recovered along with as many AK-47-rifles and other war like stores”, he said.
Sources said that  the militants killed today are part of heavily armed group whose one member was killed on June 15 and while other members of the group had managed to slip out of security forces cordon killing a soldier of 56 RR Signalman Ajay Choudhary.  The group of infiltrators was intercepted by soldiers of 56 RR on June 14 at Katwara forest area near Jet Gali in Machhil sector.
In another operation, three militants were killed in a gunfight that raged at Waterkhani in Drugmulla area of Kupwara district in North Kashmir this evening.
Acting on a specific information about the presence of militants at forest area of Cherwari in Waterkhani, Army’s 47 RR and SOG cordoned off the area and conducted searches.
Militants opened fire on the search party leading to a gun battle in which three militants were killed.
The locals in the area clashed with the security forces as they were demanding that the bodies of the slain militants be handed over to them.
Large numbers of youth gathered in the village and held protests against security forces and pelted stones on them. Police retaliated and fired teargas shells and also fired several gunshots in air, forcing protesters to disperse.
In the meantime, security forces trapped two militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in Wuder Bala forests of North Kashmir’s Handwara area of the frontier district of Kupwara.
A joint operation was launched by Army’s 21 RR and Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police in Wuder Bala area of Handwara last evening after reports about presence of around six militants in Beg Mohalla and Makhdoom Mohalla of Wuder Bala. The militants present in the forests fired at the troops leading to a gun battle but managed to escape. In the morning during the searches no militant was found but the operation was continued and troops have now trapped two militants of the group.
In the meantime, militants lobbed two grenades in Sopore on two Police officers in two separate incidents this evening. However, there was no casualty.
Militants lobbed a grenade at a police party that was lead by SDPO Sopore at around 5 pm at Amargarh Sopore. This was followed by another grenade attack in Model Town Sopore on DySP operations Sopore. However, no casualty was reported in these attacks. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the two grenade attacks in Sopore.