Kupwara gunfight leaves four militants dead

Srinagar: Four unidentified militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Arampora area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, a defence spokesman said.

“Four militants have been killed in the Arampora operation in Kupwara district. The operation is still in progress,” the defence spokesman said here.

The encounter broke out in Arampora area as security forces launched an operation after militants had opened fire on an army patrol, an army official said.

He said the soldiers reacted swiftly and launched an operation to track down the militants in Check Fatehkhan which is close to the forests of Halmatpora.

Amy’s Srinagar based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia confirmed the killing of four militants in the operation and said that the operation was ongoing to trace out the other members of the militant group hiding in the area.

SSP Kupwara said that as of now the bodies have not been recovered as the area is a dense forest and firing was still going on in the area.

Sources said that the militants were offering prayers when they were spotted close to the forests by the joint team including army and SOG who were acting on inputs about the movement of militants in the area.

However, before surrender offer could have been made, the two militants guarding them opened fire triggering off a gunfight.

Later, they dispersed and joined two militants in the gunfight. During the course of which four militants have been killed, the sources said.

They said that the bodies could be seen but they were unable to retrieve them owing to continuous firing by the remaining militants from different locations, sources said.

Meanwhile, reinforcement of Para Commandos have been rushed to the area. The forces, according to sources have also launched a cordon-and-search operation in the adjacent forest areas including Gulgam and Awoora- which lie close to Halmathpora forests.

The joint team of forces has also installed searchlights in the area.

Earlier, a police officer had said that a joint team of army’s 41 RR and SOG launched a cordon-and-search operation following inputs about the movement of seven foreign militants.

As the joint team of forces intensified the searches, the militants hiding in the area opened fire, triggering off an encounter, the officer said. (with inputs from PTI

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