3 soldiers, 5 militants killed in counter-infiltration op in Kashmir’s Kupwara

3 soldiers, 5 militants killed in counter-infiltration op in Kashmir’s Kupwara

Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 5

Three soldiers and five unidentified militants, suspected to be foreigners, were killed in an ongoing counter-infiltration operation in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, the Indian Army said on Sunday.

"Despite prevailing inclement weather conditions, casualties have been evacuated. Unfortunately two more soldiers succumbed to their injuries, others are presently undergoing treatment. Total three soldiers martyred. Operation in progress," a Srinagar-based defence spokesman said in a statement.

While one soldier had died earlier, two other soldiers succumbed to their injuries later. 

The operation was launched close to the Line of Control (LoC) five days ago, after the Army intercepted a group of militants, believed to be infiltrators, in Jamgund forest area of Keran sector.

On Wednesday, there was a brief exchange of fire, after which massive combing was carried out by the Army in the forest area. The Army also sealed all the entry and exit points. 

A fresh contact with the militants was established on Saturday evening and in a fierce gunfight that followed, five militants were killed, the Army said.

“In an ongoing anti-infiltration operation in Keran Sector of north Kashmir, alert troops braving inclement weather and hostile terrain have so far eliminated five terrorists, attempting to infiltrate across the LoC taking advantage of bad weather,” Srinagar-based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said.

“In this operation, one soldier has been martyred and two more are critically injured,” he added.

The spokesman said the evacuation of the injured is hampered due to heavy snow and rough terrain conditions.

The identity of the slain soldier could not be established immediately.

The operation is still in progress in the forest area.

This is a first infiltration attempt by militants that has been foiled by the Army this year.

Nine militants have been killed in the past two days.

On Saturday, four local militants, who were allegedly involved in the killing of civilians in south Kashmir, were killed in a gunfight in Kulgam district. 

The slain militants were identified as Ashraf Malik, a resident of Arwini in Anantnag district, Aijaz Naik, a resident of Chimmer village in Kulgam district, Shahid Malik, a resident of Khull Ahmedabad in Kulgam district, and Waqar Ahmad, a resident of Chawalgam village in Kulgam.

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