3 soldiers killed as militants attack patrol party in Kashmir

3 soldiers killed as militants attack patrol party in Kashmir
Three armymen and a woman were killed,  while five soldiers, including two officers, were injured after militants ambushed a patrol party in south Kashmir’s Shopian district in the early hours on Thursday.

A police spokesperson said the army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles and police carried out a search and cordon operation at Kungnoo in Shopian, 62 km from here.

“The operation concluded without any arrest or recovery,” the spokesman said. “While returning from Kungnoo, militants attacked the army party at Mulu in Chitragam at 2 am.

Eight army personnel, including two officers, were injured in the incident. Three of them succumbed to their injuries.”

The spokesperson said an elderly woman, identified as Taja, was hit by a stray bullet inside her house. She later succumbed to injuries. The injured soldiers have been flown to the army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar.

The slain army personnel have been identified as Sreejit M J, Vikas Kumar and Ghulam Muhammad Rather, while the injured include Lt Col Mukesh Jha, Major Amardeep Singh, Surendra Kumar, Sumer Singh and Ajay Pal.

Sources said the attackers escaped from the encounter site taking advantage of the dark. “It was a well-planned ambush by the militants and a source trap can’t be ruled out,” a source said.

“While the army had gone to hunt militants in a remote village after they received information from a source, nothing was found in the area. However, on their return, the search party was ambushed, which indicates militants had prepared in advance,” the source added.
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