Large haul of arms, ammunition recovered

Government forces on Monday claimed to have recovered a large haul of arms and ammunition from the forest area at Handwara in Kupwara district, a day after seven people including four soldiers were killed in a brief encounter that took place between the Army and militants on Sunday night, police said.

According to officials the troopers of Army’s 6 Rashtriya Rifles noticed some suspicious movement in Kehmal forest area of Handwara and challenged the heavily armed militants which ensued a brief gun battle. The militants opened firing towards security forces, who retaliated forcing them to flee from the spot. But the militants left behind arms and ammunition.

During the subsequent search and combing operation that was launched in the area, Army claimed to have recovered 1 pistol, two pistol magazines, 40 rounds of ammunition, one power bank with battery charging cable, a binocular, seven dry batteries, an axe and a walking stick, he said. Police has registered a case under various sections of law in connection with the incident and the investigation has been set into motion.

On Sunday four militants were killed in a fierce encounter that began along the Line of Control (LoC) in Naugam sector in the frontier area of Kupwara. The encounter which started on Saturday had continued till Sunday and in the gun battle three soldiers also died. “In Nowgam operation that began yesterday, a total of 4 militants killed and 3 soldiers lost lives. 4 weapons and warlike stores recovered,’’ Army tweeted.

According to reports, the gun battle took place when Army jawans had foiled an infiltration bid by the militants. As per the latest reports four weapons and war-likes stores were also recovered during the operation, said an official.

“Two more militants were killed today while another soldier attained martyrdom,” an Army official said. Overall, the number of militants killed in the encounter had risen to four, while three soldiers attained martyrdom in the operation, he said. “The sanitisation operation is on along the LoC,” the official said.

Two militants were killed and two soldiers had lost their lives on Saturday in the encounter taking the total death toll in the twin encounters to 11. Following the encounter a search operation has been launched to nab the militants who fled from the spot, said an Army official, adding that the security has been beefed up.

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