2 LeT militants killed in Handwara encounter

 Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed today in a joint operation by police and Army at Warpora area of Handwara.

According to police a joint patrol of police and army spotted militants in the forest area at Warpora, who fired upon them. This triggered a gun battle which lasted for few hours in which two militants were killed.

Police officials said that the militants were trapped in the forest area during a routine search operation, which was carried out after the movement of the militants was spotted earlier.

“As soon as the militants were spotted they fired upon the patrol party in which both the militants lost their lives,’’ said a security official. He however, added in the exchange of gunfire no loss of life or injury was reported to the force personnel adding that the militants may have infiltrated recently from across the border.

Security officials said that the mountain passes of frontier areas of Kupwara are routine infiltration routes adding that with the melting of snow they may see an escalation in the incidents of infiltration from across the border. 

Last year tensions had mounted after the Indian army claimed to have carried out cross border raids along the LOC in Poonch-Rajouri sector as well as the frontier areas of Kupwara.

A police spokesman however said that a cordon and search operation was launched after a specific information regarding the presence of militants in Warpora area of Handwara.

The police party from Handwara police station as well as the personnel from the 21 RR launched a search operation.  However, the militants present in the area fired upon the search party, which was retaliated ensuing an encounter.

 “In the brief encounter two LeT militants lost their lives,’’ said a police official. Identity of both the militants is being ascertained, added the official.

From the possession of slain militants forces claimed to have recovered two AK 47 rifles, 2 pistols, 4 AK Magazines, 2 pistol magazines, 2 UBGL grenades as well as “more articles including maps and some cash.’’

Meanwhile police also said that an AK rifle and three magazines were recovered during the demolition of an old mosque in Rajwar area of Handwara.

“Today during the demolition of an old masjid sharief in Lashipora, Rajwar area of Handwara, locals found an AK rifle and 3 magazines. Later on, the villagers informed Handwara police and handed the rifle and magazines to them,’’ said a police official.

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