Army says operation on against 10-12 ‘infiltrators’ in Uri
Srinagar: A soldier was killed in a gunfight with militants on Tuesday, while army claimed it thwarted militants’ attempts to enter the valley in Baramulla and Kupwara districts.
Initially, unconfirmed media reports suggested that 10 “infiltrators” were killed in Uri after Pakistan army violated ceasefire apparently to provide cover to the militants.
The army, however, did not confirm any deaths in the area and insisted that the operation against the infiltrators was going on.
Since these areas are remote and can’t be accessed by civilians, army and police are the only sources of information about such incidents. Independent confirmation of the events is therefore difficult.The Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson denied reports of firing along the LoC.
“There seems to be some activity across the border but there has been no activity from our side, not one shot fired from here,” Nafees Zakaria told Reuters news agency.
The conflicting reports emerged from the highly militarized LoC area, two days after 18 Indian soldiers were killed in one of the deadliest attacks on army in more than a decade’s time.
On September 18, four militants donning army fatigues stormed a battalion headquarters in Uri killing 17 soldiers and injuring around 30 others. A critically wounded soldier later died in New Delhi’s army hospital.
Spokesman of the Srinagar based XV Corps Col Rajesh Kalia said that a group of 10 to 12 infiltrators was intercepted in Lachipora area of Uri sector while attempting to sneak into Kashmir valley. He said the infiltration bid was foiled.
Initial reporters said that 10 militants have been killed but there was no confirmation from the army. Col Kalia said the operation was on till last reports came in from the area. Sources said that army could not retrieve “bodies of slain militants” from the forested area.
“The confusion prevails about the encounter,” an officer deployed in north Kashmir area told Kashmir Reader. He said Lachipora is barely 6 kilometres from the battalion headquarters where fierce encounter took place two days ago.
Earlier, army claimed that Pakistani army violated ceasefire in the same sector, an allegation rejected by Pakistan.
The defence sources said that another infiltration bid was foiled in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district when a group of five to six militants attempted to sneak in. Sources said there was heavy exchange of fire between the army and the militants that resulted into grievous injuries to a soldier who later succumbed to his injuries.
Col Kalia confirmed that one soldier of the Indian army was killed in the Nowgam encounter. The encounter was on till the last reports poured in.
Meanwhile, a senior Army official in Pakistan-administered Kashmir’s capital of Muzaffarabad said there was no firing along the Line of Control, the de-facto border where thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops face off against each other. Both sides were on high alert and strengthening their positions, he added.
Meanwhile, the four unidentified militants who attacked an army camp in Uri were buried in a local graveyard on Monday evening. Official sources said that Indian army handed over the bodies to Uri police who buried them in a local graveyard at Sokad village.
The local sources said that dozens of people from Sokad participated in the funeral prayers of suspected militants.