M A I N   N E W S

4 jawans, Hizb militant killed in J-K
Gunbattle takes place in Pulwama
Search operation on to flush out militants
Ehsan Fazili & 
Suhail A Shah/TNS

Srinagar/Pulwama, May 24
A day after the police killed a top Lashkar militant in downtown Srinagar, four Armymen and a local Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militant were killed on Friday when ultras ambushed an Army party conducting a cordon and search operation in south Kashmir's Pulwama district.

Troops of 3 Rashtriya Rifles (3 RR) had cordoned off Bochoo village in the forest area of Tral, about 30 km south of Pulwama, and launched a search operation early this morning after a tip-off. “Some militants hiding in the village opened fire on the troops around 6.30 am and a fierce gunbattle ensued, resulting in the death of four jawans,” said Col Ankur Vashisht of the Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps Headquarters. He said the search operation would continue for the next 24 hours to flush out any hiding militants in the forest area.

“Two Army personnel died on the spot, another breathed his last at the Sub-District Hospital in Tral where he was rushed for treatment. The fourth succumbed while being shifted to hospital,” the spokesman said. The martyred Armymen have been identified as rifleman Ashwini, rifleman Ajeet, sapper Dalbeer and havaldar Kanwaljeet.

The slain militant, according to sources, has been identified as 25-year-old Saifullah Ahangar, an engineering graduate and resident of Haeriparigam, Awantipora, in Tral. He had joined the militant outfit recently and had been active in the area for the last one-and-a-half month. Three to four other militants accompanying Saifullah managed to flee and are said to have taken away some ammunition of the slain Armymen.

Additional forces have been rushed to the area and a massive manhunt and combing operation has been launched in the forests of the area.

The gunbattle comes a day after a top Lashkar-e-Toiba militant, involved in the killing of several civilians in Pattan and Sopore area of north Kashmir, was killed in an encounter with the police in the old city area.

Militant activity peaks

  • March 2, 2013: 2 policemen shot dead near Handwara bus stand
  • March 13: 5 CRPF men and two militants killed in Srinagar
  • March 21: 1 BSF man killed, 2 hurt in ambush near Nowgam
  • April 26: 4 cops killed in ambush near Sopore town
  • May 10: ASI Farooq Ahmad killed in Pulwama
  • May 18: JCO killed, as Army foils first major infiltration bid in Kupwara

Truce violation

Srinagar: India and Pakistan reportedly exchanged fire at the Line of Control in Karnah sector of Kupwara district late Friday evening. This is the first ceasefire violation this year. Sources said the firing lasted a few minutes and there is no report of a casualty. There are unconfirmed reports of a ceasefire violation in Nowgam.





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