Srinagar: General officer Commanding (GoC) of Army’s Kilo Force, H S Sahi Wednesday said that the three militants killed in the gunfight at Lawaypora on Srinagar outskirts were planning “a big strike on the highway to gain publicity”.
Addressing a joint press conference at 2 RR headquarters at Zainakote, HMT, Srinagar, Sahi said that the identity of the slain trio is being ascertained and also the militant organisation they were affiliated with.
The GoC Kilo Force said that since the “past many days, intelligence inputs were pouring in continuously” about the movement of militants on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway.
On Tuesday, the Army developed leads and came to know that militants are hiding in a house right opposite to Noora hospital at Lawaypora in HMT area, Sahi said.
He said that when the presence of militants got established, army’s 2 RR, Police and the CRPF “repeated asked them to surrender”.
But the militants “fired indiscriminately at security forces and lobbed grenades as well, ” Sahi added.
He said that the operation was put on a halt due to darkness “but cordon layers were tightened”.
With the first light this morning, the firefight again resumed with militants as per the GoC using “heavy ammunition against forces”.
In the ensuing gunfight three militants were killed, he added.
The army commanding officer said it was a “clean operation” as there was no causality to the forces.
Sahi was flanked by commander 10 sector RR, Naresh Mishra and SP West, Shehzad Saliar besides other officials of army and police.
He said the gunfight ended at 11:30 am adding the bodies of three slain were retrieved and police is identifying them.
Their affiliation also is nit yet known, he said.
To a query why militants were choosing Srinagar outskirts for the attacks lately, Sahi said, “Militants choose Srinagar outskirts or highways to carry out attacks on security forces to get maximum publicity”.
“The nature of ammunition used by the militants in today’s gunfight suggests they were planning a big strike on the highway,” he added.
He said that “another reason why militants choose Srinagar outskirts is because the area has congested locality, lanes, and by-lanes”.
” They perhaps feel these areas are safe haven for them. But our intelligence grid is very strong and will not allow to carry out any major strike in these areas, ” he further said.
The GoC said that militants may try to strike in the valley in view of this year’s Republic Day on January 26, “but we are alert and will foil all of their plans,” he said.
Sahi also informed that one Ak-47 riffle, two pistols and a few grenades have been recovered from the slain militants. (KNO)