Five militants and two soldiers were killed in an overnight operation in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Two soldiers, including an officer, sustained injuries in the encounter.
The Army said a group of militants were spotted in Chowkibal area of Kupwara on Friday afternoon. The heavily armed militants, who were wearing Army fatigues, took refuge in an empty house at Marsari village. As soldiers from three different Army units and the Special Operations Group of the J&K Police searched the area, militants opened fire, triggering an encounter that lasted through the night. Officials said two soldiers were injured in the initial gunfight.
The Army established a tight cordon and sealed off the village to prevent the militants from escaping to nearby forests. Marsari village, which lies between Hafrada, Bangus and Karnah Valley, is located amid dense forests.
Around five to six feet of snow usually gets accumulated in the upper reaches of the area. Since it is located close to the Line of Control, militants often use this as a transit point.
Commander, 68 Mountain Brigade, Brigadier S P Singh told reporters that the Army and the police had received inputs about the presence of suspected militants in the area.
“When our party went on a search, an encounter started and the militants were eliminated during the operation,” he said, adding that the militants had taken shelter in a house which was difficult to enter.