5 militants killed in Handwara encounter

Last week,the Army along with the police had killed five Lashkar militants,including two commanders,in the same area

Written by Mir Ehsan | Srinagar | Published: April 6, 2012 12:03:02 am

Five militants were killed in North Kashmir’s Handwara forests after the Army and the J-K Police launched an operation in Khurmur forest range in the highly militancy-infested belt of Rajwar.

Last week,the Army along with the police had killed five Lashkar militants,including two commanders,in the same area. Officials claim that militants killed in today’s operation had been moving in the area for the last few months,especially in the dense forests and villages close to Rajwar forests. The officials said the slain militants could also be associated with Lashkar.

They added that the operation would get prolonged as some militants were still hiding in the forests. The police and the Army had intelligence inputs that suggested that more than 10 militants were moving in the Khurmur forest range.

The gunfight between the militants and the Army started deep inside the forest range when the former attacked an Army patrol that was looking for them early in the morning.

Defence spokesman Lt Col J S Brar said the operation was launched on specific information about the presence of militants in Khurmur forests. “The militants were asked to surrender; however,they opened fire resulting in an intense firefight. In the ensuing encounter,five militants were killed,’’ he said,adding that the police were ascertaining the identity of the militants.

This is the second encounter in the area in the last seven days.

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