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Lt-Col dies in J&K encounter
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 30
A Lieutenant Colonel and three militants were killed in an encounter between militants and security forces at Bandipore in Baramulla district today. Elsewhere, three persons, including two militants, one of them a top militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit, were killed in separate incidents in Kashmir valley while four civilians were injured in a grenade explosion at Kulgam in south Kashmir.

Police officials here said four persons, including Lt-Col V.R. Chauhan of the 15 RR and three militants, were killed in an encounter at Bandipore town this morning.

A BSF spokesman said a search operation was launched jointly by the 15 RR of the Army, led by Colonel Chauhan, and the 90 Battalion, BSF, on the receipt of information about the presence of two LeT militants, including a dreaded militant “Chota Qasim”, in a three-storied house. The forces searched the house thoroughly and on observing a false ceiling on the top floor, they started breaking it, the spokesman stated.

At this point, suddenly the terrorists, who were hiding there, opened firing. Colonel Chauhan immediately retaliated leading from the front and killed two of the militants. He was also injured and later succumbed to his injuries, the spokesman added. A BSF jawan was also injured in the incident. Due to the firing and grenade blasts the building caught fire. In addition to the body of Colonel Chauhan, charred bodies of three militants were recovered and handed over to the police. Their identification was awaited, the defence spokesman said.

Two AK 47 rifles, seven magazines, 15 rounds, one pistol with one magazine and two rounds were recovered from the killed militants, he added. Protest demonstrations against the security forces were taken out in the area following the incident as the residents alleged the killing of two civilians.

In another incident, a battalion commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit, Abu Osama, was killed in Pulwama district. One AK rifle, three magazines and one stick grenade were recovered, the police said.

One Pakistani militant was killed in an encounter with security forces at Aloosa in Bandipore area of Barmulla district while four civilians were injured in a grenade explosion at Kulgam in Anantnag district yesterday.





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