A civilian died while two soldiers including an Army major were injured as the government forces came under attack from militants in South Kashmir area of Shopian late evening after the day long searches in the militancy hotbed.
Late evening as the forces had called off the search operations which had been launched after the reports of militant movement in the Shopian and Kulgam areas militants attacked a patrolling party of army’s 62 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) at Bas Kuchan village of Shopian district.
During the attack one civilian died and two armed forces personnel were left injured even as militants managed to flee from the place.
As per reports the 62 RR was withdrawing and returning to its camp when it came under heavy militant fire in which a civilian was injured along with the soldiers.
The civilian who was ferrying the force personnel in his Sumo vehicle later succumbed to injuries. A police official said that the driver of the vehicle, who was identified as Nazir Ahmad Sheikh son of Abdul Ahad Sheikh resident of Kachdora Shopian was injured in the attack and after he was rushed to hospital he was declared brought dead.
The slain driver was hired by the armed forces personnel to ferry them in the area and formed part of the convoy which was travelling back to the camp after the searches during the day.
A police official said that two soldiers including an army major were injured and militants ambushed the armed force personnel as they moved through the area. “The militants may have escaped from the place,” he said. The official identified the army men as Major Nitish and trooper Raj Kumar.
The encounter that ensued continued till late into the night and massive searches were followed in the area. Heavy deployment of police was made to engage with the militants.
“The militants had resorted to heavy firing on the patrolling party of the army when they were retreating to their camp. The armed force personnel were part of the search operation in Shopian district which started in the wee hours today and continued late into the evening. They were returning back to the camp when they came under the militant ambush,’’ said a senior police official deployed in the area.
Late evening clashes also erupted between government forces and civilians in Kulgam after a cordon and search operation was launched today following inputs about presence of militants.
Security forces launched search operation in Khudwani area of Qaimoh tehsil, following inputs about the presence of militants, following which youth took to the streets and clashed with forces to disrupt the anti-militancy operation.