The Army on Tuesday claimed to have foiled two infiltration bids along the Line of Control in north Kashmir’s Uri and Nowgam sectors.
The Army said a soldier had been killed in Nowgam, but it did not confirm whether any infiltrator was killed.
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In a statement, the Army’s Udhampur-based Northern Command said that “troops deployed in Uri sector, reacting to suspicious movement, intercepted a group of terrorists near LoC and foiled an infiltration bid. Another infiltration bid was foiled in Nowgam sector. Operation in progress.”
A Defence spokesman in Srinagar also told The Indian Express that two infiltration bids had been foiled.
“The operation is still underway and troops are engaged in the encounters,” he said, adding that in Lachipora, Uri, there were reports of the presence of a group comprising 10-12 militants.
“So far, we are not confirming the killing of any militant in the Lachipora operation. At Nowgam, one soldier was killed,” he said.
Sources said the troops suspected movement along the LoC between Lachipora and Kamalkote and opened fire, prompting the militants to retaliate. Sources said the firing continued for some time. Combat teams of the Army are still in the area and villages from Kamalkote to Lachipora have been completed sealed, sources said.
In Nowgam, sources said the troops had launched a search operation after “an input that a group of five had infiltrated”. The infiltration, according to sources, had taken place in Tootmar Gali area and the cordon and search operation (CASO) was conducted in Neerian. During the CASO, an Havildar Madan Lal was killed in a gunfight with infiltrators, sources said. Till Tuesday night, the operation was still on and there was no confirmation if any infiltrator had been killed.
Though the distance between the two locations where firing was reported is more than 80 km by road, the areas are at a distance of 10-12 km through forests.
Both places fall under the jurisdiction of the 19 infantry division stationed in Baramulla. Nowgam and Lachipora are considered traditional infiltration routes in north Kashmir, which militants have been using since the 1990s. In recent months, several militant groups have managed to sneak into the Valley through these routes.