Major killed, seven injured in Kashmir

File photo for representation

An Army Major was killed while seven soldiers, including an officer, were injured in two separate militancy-related incidents in Kashmir on Monday.

Reports said the two Army majors and two soldiers were wounded in an ongoing gunfight with militants in Bidoora village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. The wounded officers and soldiers were shifted to Army’s 92-base hospital in Srinagar, where one major succumbed to his injuries, they said.

The identity of the slain major is Ketan Sharma. 

The gunfight erupted after a joint team of Army’s Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Bidoora, 65 kms from here, following ‘specific inputs’ about the presence of militants in the area.

As the forces zeroed towards the suspected spot, hiding militants fired upon forces triggering an encounter. An unidentified militant was also killed in the gunfight and his body recovered, police said.

In a separate incident, at least five Army men were wounded in a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast at Aarihal village in neighbouring Pulwama district in the evening, reports said.

Sources said that around 6.00 pm militants triggered an IED planted on the roadside in Aarihal when a vehicle of 44 RR was passing from there, causing injuries to at least five soldiers.

“The IED exploded under a Casper ( bullet and mine-proof vehicle) was damaged in the blast. The explosion was followed by exchange of fire,” they said. 

An Army statement said militants attempted to attack a mobile vehicle with a vehicle-based IED while the Army patrol was moving in general area Arihal. “The troops are safe, few minor injuries. Reports of attack on Army convoy are unfounded and baseless,” the statement said.

The site of the blast is 27 km from the area where a paramilitary convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber on February 14 in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

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