Major infiltration foiled, says army, area being searched for other militants
Kupwara: An army officer along with two soldiers and one BSF trooper were killed in a gunfight with militants, three of whom have been killed, along the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil village of frontier district Kupwara on Sunday.
Officials said that troops of Border Security Force (BSF) 169 battalion posted along the LoC in Machil sector noticed suspicious movement of a group of infiltrators at 1am Sunday. They said the BSF troops challenged the militants, resulting in a brief gunfight in which a BSF trooper and a militant were killed.
Soon after the firing, the BSF and army posted in the area launched a joint search operation and at around 4am contact was again established. The gunfight that ensued continued till morning and two more militants were killed, but an army officer and two other soldiers also lost their lives, while two army soldiers received bullet injuries and were shifted to hospital for treatment.
The army believes that it was group of three to four militants who had crossed the Line of Control. The alert troops of BSF and army detected their movement due to which a major infiltration bid was foiled, the army said.
The sources said that reinforcements including para commandos of the army were rushed to the area along with sniffer dogs to track the other militants who were part of the infiltration. They said all the entry and exit points have been blocked by the forces and a thorough search has been launched over the entire sector. The army also used drone cameras to locate the militants.
The slain army officer was identified as Lt Aujla while the BSF trooper who was killed in the encounter was identified as Constable Sudip Sarkar. Names of the other two slain soldiers have not yet been officially announced.
The operation was still going on in the area when this report was filed.
Srinagar-based spokesperson of the army, Col Rajesh Kalia, confirmed that three army men, one BSF personnel, and three militants have been killed in the operation in Machil, and two army men injured in the gunfight have been shifted to hospital.
He said the gunfight started at around 1am when BSF troops challenged the militants and in the initial firing a militant and a BSF trooper were killed. At around 10:20 am, another gunfight started when militants fired on the army search party. In this gunfight the army lost three men while two more militants were neutralised.
Col Kalia said the operation was still continuing in the area.