M A I N   N E W S

Major, 2 jawans killed
3 ultras shot in 24-hour gunfight at Badgam

Srinagar, January 14
A Major and three top LeT commanders were among six persons killed in the 24-hour-long fierce gunfight that ended this afternoon in the central Kashmir district of Badgam.

A senior Army official said the troops had foiled a militant plan of carrying out a suicide attack in the old Airfield area.

Giving details, the official said the troops on specific information cordoned off Palpora Wahthora village, about 15 km from here, on the Srinagar-Charar-e-Sharief road, last evening to nab the militants.

He said as the troops began sealing the exit points, a group of militants were seen fleeing. However, when challenged they entered a house and started hurling grenades.

The house was cordoned off from all sides and reinforcement rushed there from nearby camps. He said when Major Amit tried to enter the house along with three other soldiers, militants fired upon them.

Despite being injured, the Major immediately returned the fire and killed one militant. Two other soldiers were also injured in the attack. Later all three succumbed before they could be shifted to a hospital.

The officer said the operation could have ended last night but it took time for troops to rescue the civilians in the nearby houses.

“To avoid civilian casualties and damage to property, we proceeded cautiously, with the result the operation prolonged,” he said, adding that the exchange of fire was going on throughout the night.

He said only after ensuring that no civilian was there, the house was blasted this afternoon killing the third militant.

The house of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat and Abdul Ghani Bhat, where the militants were hiding was damaged in the encounter. The driver of a minibus, was injured by a stray bullet during the exchange of fire, the police said.

Two militants of LeT outfit killed in the encounter have been identified as Abu Zahid, IED expert, and Abu Bakar, both Pak nationals, according to a Defence spokesman.

Meanwhile, a former Ikhwan activist or counter insurgent, Gowhar Ahmad Ganai, and his mother were shot dead by some militants when they intruded into their house at Moniwar in Anantnag district last night. The police said Gowhar’s mother, Syeda Begum, sustained injuries in the shootout and succumbed to injuries while being shifted to the hospital.

One Pakistani militant, identified as Raza, was killed in an encounter with security forces in Manjakote sector of Rajouri district in Jammu region today, the police said. One AK rifle, two magazines and 30 rounds have been recovered from the site of encounter.


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