Search operation in Sopore after brief gun-battle

Mushtaq Ahmed
Baramulla: Army and Special Operations Group (SOG) of police Friday started a major search operation in Sopore area of this north Kashmir district following a brief exchange of gunfire with a group of militants.
Army’s 27 and 21 RR and SOG assisted by CRPF cordoned off Marbel area of Kandi belt in Sopore after receiving a tip-off about the presence of militants in the forested area, officials said.
When the joint team started advances, the militants opened random fire upon them. The forces returned the fire triggering off brief gun-battle.
Amidst the exchange of fire, the militants fled from the spot to the upper forest areas. Unconfirmed reports said that an unknown militant was killed in the encounter. However, officials didn’t confirm the causalities.
“Early morning, contingents of Army, police and CRPF arrived and laid a cordon in the area. Sometime later, we heard a few gunshots. Later, forces conducted intense searches to nab the militants,” Javed Ahmad, a local said.
He said late in the evening, forces were seen carrying heavy arms towards the area, where militants are suspected to be hiding.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, north Kashmir range, J P Singh told Kashmir Reader that the militants opened fire at the forces shortly after search operation was started in the area.
“The search operation is in progress. There are 2-5 militants in the cordoned area,” he said.
On Tuesday, an Assistant Sub-Inspector of police was killed and three cops injured when militants opened fire on them during a cordon and search operation in Chankhan locality of Sopore. The militants, whose number was not known, had managed to break the cordon and flee from the spot.