4 Army jawans, Hizbul militant killed in encounter

4 Army jawans, Hizbul militant killed in encounter

4 Army jawans, Hizbul militant killed in encounter

In a major gun battle between security forces and militants, four Army personnel and a militant were killed in the Tral area of South Kashmir on Friday.

Officials said counter-insurgency outfit Victor Force of Army and Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir launched an operation early morning after receiving information about the presence of militants in the forest village.

Militants hiding in the village opened fire, killing three soldiers on the spot and injuring another.

Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ankur Vasisht said a joint party of Rashtriya Rifles and police were putting up a cordon around Bachoo village in the Pulwama district, 35 km from here, when holed-up militants opened fire on them.

“Three soldiers were killed in the militant fire on the spot, while another was injured. One militant was killed in retaliatory firing by the Army,” he said.

The spokesperson added that the injured soldier was evacuated by helicopter but succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital.

The killed militant has been identified as Saifullah of Hari Parigam, Pulwama in South Kashmir, belonging to the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit.

Sources told Deccan Herald that militants decamped with the weapon of the deceased soldiers after the encounter, including three automatic rifles. “However, the militants had left two of their own weapons at the encounter site, which the Army seized,” they said, adding that 2-3 militants are still holed up in a nearby forest from where they are firing on the troops.

“The Army was continuing its search for three more suspected militants believed to be hiding in the forest area,” sources said.

The latest encounter in Tral comes just a day after top Lashker-e-Toiba commander Hilal Molvi was killed in an encounter with the police in Srinagar on Thursday.

Police sources revealed that relentless operations against militants in north Kashmir has forced them to migrate towards less vulnerable areas in south Kashmir over the last few months.