Baramulla: The army on Thursday said that troops killed three heavily armed militants in Uri sector of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district and recovered a large quantity of arms from their possession.
Officials in the army said that the three militants are believed to have crossed the Line of Control (LOC) recently from Gohalan area. They said that after a brief gunfight on Saturday they had managed to escape. Since that time, a vast area was under cordon and a search operation had been launched.
The army said that the three militants were killed in an encounter in Hathlanga area on Thursday. They said that a huge quantity of arms and ammunition including five AK-47 rifles, 8 pistols, 45 grenades, 2 UBGL and plenty of ammunition was recovered from the possession of the slain militants.
The identity of the militants and their affiliation could not be confirmed as of now.
Commanding Officer GOC 15 Corps in a press conference at Srinagar also confirmed the killing of the militants and said that it was a big success for the security agencies.
Briefing the media at the Army’s Chinar Corps headquarters here, Lieutenant General D P Pandey said there has been increased activity at the militant launchpads on the other side of the LoC recently.
“While there was no infiltration since the beginning of the year, there has been a lot of activity at the launchpads, which cannot happen without the knowledge of Pakistan Army commanders,” he said.
Lt Gen. Pandey said this was evident from the infiltration bid that was eliminated on Thursday and the one foiled in the Uri sector on September 18-19.
Asked about the identity and nationality of the slain infiltrators, the Army officer said according to the documents recovered from their person, “one of them was a Pakistani while we are not sure about the other two yet”.
Giving details of the five-day combing operation in Gohalan and adjacent areas in Uri, he said the operation, as of now, has ceased.
“There were six militants, four on the other side of the LoC and two had managed to enter our side of the territory. They were challenged and after a brief gunfight, they went back. The combing operation of the rugged terrain and dense vegetation took time but as of now, there are no remnants of that group here,” he added.
Asked about the necessity to shut down the telecommunication facilities in Uri, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar said it was done in order to ensure that the infiltrators could not stay in touch with their handlers in Pakistan.
Kumar said the recoveries indicate that there is a new trend of Pakistan sending more pistols to Kashmir so that the “hybrid militants” can easily carry out their tasks and slip back into normal life.
“We have seized 97 pistols this year…pistols are easy to transport and hide. The hybrid militants carry out the one or two tasks given to them and go back to their normal life. If you see, in 85 per cent of the attacks, pistols were used and all policemen targeted were unarmed,” he added.
With inputs from PTI