The Army has encircled a big group of infiltrators in the forests of Gurez Valley,but bad weather and snow is hampering the operations which started early on Thursday morning. So far one infiltrator has been killed in this in the Hajibal forest near the Line of Control. This is the second major infiltration bid on the LoC in the past week.
The operation is going on. But bad weather and snowfall have slowed it down, said Defense spokesman Lt Col J S Brar,adding that more information would be available only when the weather clears.
Sources said the group,comprising 15 to 20 militants,was intercepted by troops in the forests of Gurez after they sneaked as the Army was busy flushing out infiltrators in Kupwara and Handwara. This militant group too is believed to be highly trained and equipped with the latest weapons and maps. Sources said the group had reached close to the Bandipore forests and established contact with their local handlers,before they were intercepted.
Brar said the area where the militants were holed up has been sealed off. It is difficult for militants to escape as our troops have cordon off the forests, he said. Sources,however,said the tough terrain and weather was likely to benefit the militants.
Like in Kupwara,the Army had prior knowledge about the infiltration in Gurez sector. After a five-day encounter,the Army had eliminated 18 militants,including three local men who had come to receive the infiltrators. The new infiltration was spotted a day after Brigade General Staff 15 Corps Brigadier Gurmeet Singh claimed more militants were waitign across the LoC to sneak into the Valley.
Gurez is one of the traditional routes used by militants to sneak into the Valley in spring.