Soldier, SPO killed in Pulwama attack

Forces suffer first casualties this year; hunt on for militants

Soldier, SPO killed in Pulwama attack

Security personnel near the site of a gunbattle at Khrew in Pulwama. AFP

Tribune News Service
Srinagar, January 21

A soldier and a Special Police Officer were killed in a militant attack on security forces during a cordon and search operation in Pulwama district of south Kashmir today. This comes a day after three top Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in a gunfight in Shopian district.

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The gunfight erupted around noon at Zantrag Khrew village in Awantipora sub-district, 50 km from Srinagar, when joint teams of security forces were carrying out a combing operation in the area following inputs about the presence of militants.

“As the cluster of houses close to a forest area was being cordoned off, the hiding militants opened indiscriminate fire, injuring a soldier and an SPO, who were part of an advance team,” a source said. The injured were shifted to a hospital where they succumbed.

Soon after the shooting, security forces launched a hunt to trace the militants, who apparently escaped after the initial exchange of fire. “The operation is in progress as the militants may be hiding in the area,” said a police officer. No militant body has been recovered.

After the killing of three Hizb militants in Shopian yesterday, J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh had said the security forces had achieved major successes against militants this year. The security forces have suffered their first causalities in Kashmir this year. At least eight militants have been killed this month.

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