Five militants, 2 soldiers killed in Kupwara

Kupwara: Five militants and two soldiers were killed in a gun battle in Chokibal area of Kupwara district, police and army said on Saturday.
The gunfight started on Friday afternoon, after army and Special Operations Group of police laid a siege around the Marsari village in Chokibal, where the five militants were hiding in the house of one Ghulam Mohammad Wani son of Abli Wani.
Two soldiers, including a Major, were injured at the beginning of the encounter last evening.
The government forces had suspended the operation last night and resumed it on Saturday morning. In the exchange of fire today, two more soldiers who suffered bullet wounds succumbed at the Drugmulla Army Hospital.
The dead soldiers are Naik Shinde Shankar Chandrabhan from Maharashtra and Gunner Sahadev Maruti More of Karnataka.
In view of the resistance put up by the militants, the army then blew up the house with mortars and IEDs.
Kupwara superintendent of police Ajaz Ahmad Bhat told reporters the bodies of the militants were recovered from the debris.
“All of them were wearing white-coloured uniforms. Five AK-47 rifles, 25 magazines and other ammunition were recovered from the debris,” he said, adding the militants had recently crossed into Kashmir and probably belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit.
A large number of people snatched the bodies of the militants from the government forces and buried them in the local graveyard after offering them funeral prayers.
During the funeral, people shouted pro-freedom slogans and paid homage to the militants.
Civilian movement was curtailed in the area after the army closed the gate on Chokibal-Tanghdar Road.