7 BSF men, 3 Lashkar rebels killed in gunbattle
29 November 2001
The Asian Age
Srinagar: Seven BSF personnel, including two officers, and three Lashkar-e- Tayyaba militants were killed in an encounter in Sopore town in Jammu and Kashmir, a BSF spokesman said on Thursday. The 22-hour-long operation, which began on Wednesday evening at Astanpora-Achaba, 55 km from here, was called off on Thursday afternoon after the BSF search party traced two rebels in a nearby house and killed them, he said. The encounter broke out when militants opened indiscriminate fire on a BSF team led by assistant commandant of 88th battalion Iashtaq Ahmad Khan, which had gone to the area to flush out militants who were hiding in a house, killing Khan, head constable Lal Khan and constable Ajay Kaul, he said. Despite heavy firing by the rebels, BSF personnel entered the house and managed to take control of its ground floor, he said. The firing continued for about six hours during which four more BSF personnel, including an inspector, lost their lives. Three BSF jawans and a civilian were injured in the gunfight which stopped late on Wednesday night when the house caught fire and was completely gutted. The body of a militant was recovered from the debris of the house on Thursday morning, while the search for his two associates, who were believed to have been killed in the encounter, continued, the spokesman said.