Militants attacked a patrol of the 3 Rashtriya Rifles in South Kashmir’s Tral area on Friday,killing four jawans and escaping with three rifles.
Security forces later hunted down one of the militants in nearby Buchoo Payeen village,and recovered two SLRs that had been snatched from a police picket in the same area a year ago.
This is the second time in the space of a month that security forces have had to suffer greater casualties than the militants in an encounter. Four police personnel were killed last month in an attack in North Kashmirs Hygam village,which the police had blamed on the Hizbul Mujahideen.
Three or four militants,reportedly wearing Army uniforms,ambushed the RR patrol in Buchoo Bala village,killing three personnel immediately. An injured jawan succumbed at the base hospital in Srinagar.
The army men were carrying out cordon-and-search operations when militants hiding in the forests close to the village fired on them, defence spokesman Naresh Vij said. He added that the operation was ongoing.
Vij said one militant was killed as well. Sources said this was Saifullah of Tral,who had recently joined the Hizbul Mujahideen.
A J&K Police report has concluded that 78 militants are currently active in the Valley,the smallest number since the beginning of militancy in 1990.