M A I N   N E W S

Troops gun down 8 infiltrators
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 6
The Army foiled a major infiltration bid and killed eight infiltrators on the LoC in Machchil sector of Kupwara district early this morning.

In another major achievement, the troops recovered a large cache of arms, ammunition, grenades, explosives and other war-like stores from a hideout in the higher reaches of Gurez sector near the LoC in Baramula district yesterday.

The recoveries included 14 AK-47 and 56 rifles, 6,000 rounds of ammunition, one radio set, eight UBGL, 30 magazines, 8 kg of RDX and explosives, 17 IEDs and a large quantity of remote switches, timing devices, war-like stores packed and stored in seven rucksacks.

A defence spokesman here said the Army killed an entire group of eight armed militants attempting to infiltrate through the rugged and high-altitude terrain in Machchil sector early this morning.

The recoveries made from the spot included eight AK-47 and 56 rifles, 10 magazines, 160 rounds of AK ammunition and 10 grenades of Pakistan make, apart from a large quantum of arms, ammunition, explosives and war-like stores which were being smuggled into the valley, the spokesman added.

He said the troops deployed on the LoC picked up the movement of the militants in adverse weather conditions. The firefight, which started at 1.30 am today, continued throughout the foggy night. The “surgically-conducted operation” left no chance for the group to escape or react and led to the elimination of eight hardcore militants, whose identity is being ascertained.

Giving details about the recoveries in Gurez sector, the spokesman said close on the heels of the recent attacks in the valley and the depleting snow levels on the ridges and passes, the Army foiled a major attempt by militants to create bloodshed in the Kashmir valley. Their designs were thwarted when the major hideout was busted as the war-like stores were planned to be transshipped through the higher reaches of Gurez onwards for militant groups operating in the region. The timely recoveries prevented a major disaster and had delivered a significant blow to the forces that were trying to disrupt the peace initiatives and attempting to discredit the government and the armed forces, the defence spokesman said.

He said the Gurez valley was generally used by militants and their couriers to transship arms, ammunition and stores for sustenance of militants in depth areas of the Kashmir valley. With regular inputs being received, preceding and following the recently concluded roundtable conference, regarding the militants getting desperate to undermine the ongoing peace process, the battalion deployed in the area was working on the inputs and was carrying out aggressive patrolling and searches in the areas astride the LoC where the snow was melting fast. Due to the intense patrolling, domination of infiltration routes along the LoC and efficacy of the LoC fence, the militants were not able to transship this large consignment of arms, ammunition and explosives.

They had hidden the consignment in a hideout to be retrieved and transshipped when the window of opportunity existed. Aggressive patrolling and relentless searches in jungles and nullahs resulted in discovery of a hideout in a mountainous cave covered with snow with overhanging shrubs and undergrowth. The cave was being used as a repository for one of the largest caches recovered during the year, the spokesman said.


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