- Two militants, trooper killed in two encounters in Kupwara sector
- Cross-border firing in Uri sector; army denies incident
Baramulla: Two militants and an army man were killed while two other troopers were injured in two different encounters in Kupwara sector of north Kashmir since Saturday.
Army sources are mostly the source of information in such incidents, with usually no independent confirmation of news in such cases of encounters or gunfights. Official sources, however, said that a trooper of the territorial army was killed while two other troopers received serious injuries in a gunfight which started on Saturday near an army post in Tangdar sector of Kupwara district. The two troopers reportedly were from the special commandos of the Para unit.
The sources said the encounter was still continuing (as of late Sunday evening) and the army had called in more forces and sniffer dogs to trace the militants who were believed to be hiding in the dense forests. Sources identified the deceased trooper of the territorial army as Bashir Ahmad War.
“Either the militants are hiding in the dense forest area or managed to escape taking advantage of darkness last night or it will be confirmed after conducting search operation in the whole area,” agencies quoted a senior army official as saying.
Meanwhile, locals alleged that over a dozen cows and oxen were killed during the gunfight in the area. The animals, belonging to local villagers, were apparently grazing in the area.
The army claimed to have gunned down two militants in another alleged encounter in Keran sector along the LoC on Sunday morning. Army sources said the militants had crossed the LoC near Kugdagi Nar and tried to cross the army zone, but an army unit challenged them, leading to an encounter.
The operation was also continuing till last reports came in and additional forces had reportedly been rushed to the area to bolster the Indian forces.
The Srinagar-based Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the army Col Manish said that two unidentified bodies of militants were recovered from Keran sector along the LoC along with two AK 47 rifles. While saying that search operations were continuing in Keran, he also confirmed the death of the trooper and injuries to other personnel in the Tangdar operation.
Meanwhile, sources said that Pakistani and Indian forces exchanged light to heavy gunfire in Uri sector on Saturday night along the LoC near Churanda village. Village sarpanch Laldin Ahmad on Sunday said that panic gripped the village and adjoining areas when the firing started.
He said the firing started at around 10 pm and continued till 5 am on Sunday. He said people remained awake all night and some families shifted their children to safer places, but no loss of life was reported. However, officials of the Indian army denied that any firing had taken place in the sector.