Hizb claims responsibility
Anantnag: An army officer and a soldier were killed, while a third lay severely wounded, after militants attacked a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) being started in Harmain area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Thursday.
Major Kamlesh Pandey of Uttarakhand and Sepoy Tanzin Chhultim of Himachal Pradesh both had joined the army in 2012.
The injured soldier, Kripal Singh, is undergoing treatment at army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar.
According to police reports there was specific information regarding presence of at least 5 militants in Zoipora village of Harmain area.
“Acting on the tipoff, a CASO was being launched in the area at about 2:00 AM, in the wee hours of Thursday morning,” SP Shopian AS Dinkar told Kashmir Reader.
He said that while the cordon was being laid, militants opened indiscriminate fire at the first party to have entered the village, Zoipora. The firing left three men, including the major, injured.
The injured were immediately evacuated to Srinagar Base Hospital, where two of them succumbed to their injuries.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that Major Kamlesh had at least five bullet wounds in his body, such was the intensity of fire from the militants.
Following the firing, a combing operation was carried out for seven hours, before it was called off.
“The militants had managed to escape,” Dinkar said.
Soon after, militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen claimed the attack.
Spokesperson of the outfit, Burhanuddin, told news gathering agency CNS that the attack was carried out by Hizb militants.
“The valiant militants of our outfit laid an ambush and attacked an army party from all sides. Five Indian soldiers were killed and many others were injured. The militants managed to reach at their destinations safely after the daring attack,” Burhanuddin said.
He added that Hizb Commander Mehmood Ghaznavi has decided to reward the militants for carrying out this attack.
“Such attacks will continue across Kashmir Valley,” he assured.
Later in the day a wreath-laying ceremony was held at Badami Bagh cantonment for the slain army men.
“Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy CM Nirmal Singh, and Chinar Corps Commander JS Sandhu paid floral tributes to the fallen soldiers,” the spokesperson said.
He said that the bodies of the army men will be taken to their native places for last rites, with full military honours.