3 army men killed, 5 injured in road accident on way to gunfight site
Anantnag: Four local militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in a gunfight with government forces here in Shopian district Thursday afternoon, police said.
Three army personnel were killed, and five others were injured, in a road mishap while they were on their way to the gunfight site.
“Owing to the wet road conditions, the driver seemingly lost control over the vehicle and it skidded off the road,” the Defence Ministry based spokesman in Srinagar said in a statement.
Police identified them as Aaqib Farooq Thoker son of Farooq Ahmed Thoker, Waseem Ahmed Thoker son of Abdul Ghani Thoker, both resident of Heffkhuri, Zainapora, Farooq Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Salam Bhat and Shoqeen Ahmad Mir son of Mohd Abdulla Mir, both resident of Sugan.
“Families were brought in for identification, and their identities were made public soon after they got properly ascertained,” the police source said.
The gunfight took place in Badigam village in Zainapora area. “An operation was launched following inputs regarding presence of militants in the area,” a senior police official said.
He said that the hiding place of militants was zeroed in on and they were asked to surrender. “They chose to open fire instead, which was retaliated and all the four militants were neutralised,” the police official said.
He said that the bodies of the militants, along with arms and ammunition, were retrieved from the site of the gunfight.
“The bodies will be sent to north Kashmir for burial after identification and medico-legal formalities,” the official said.
Authorities in Kashmir have refused handing bodies of slain militants over to their families, citing Covid protocol, since April 2020.
The bodies are buried in undisclosed locations in Baramulla, in presence of a few family members.
Meanwhile, authorities snapped mobile internet at some places in the vicinity of the gunfight. A search operation was going on in the area while this report was being filed.
The army stated that three soldiers were killed and five others were injured in the road mishap. The Defence spokesman said that eight injured soldiers were shifted to District Hospital Shopian where two among them were declared brought dead on arrival. “One soldier had received minor injuries and was discharged from District Hospital,” he said, adding, “The five other injured soldiers were evacuated to 92 Base Hospital, Srinagar, where the third soldier also succumbed to his injuries.”
Four soldiers are presently at the 92 Base Hospital and are being treated, he said. “It has already been clarified by the JKP that information shared on social media that the accident was caused by stone pelting incident in the area is false. Rumours may be avoided and peace be maintained,” he said.