4 Army jawans, LeT commander killed
10 October 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Four Army soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) 'area commander' were killed and another jawan was injured in an encounter in Surankote tehsil of this district early today. It was after a long gap that Army suffered four fatal casualties in a single operation in this border district. Official sources said troops of Rashtriya Rifles had laid an ambush last night at village Chamrerh near Chitti Bhatti in Surankote tehsil after developing an information about the movement of two top Lashkar militants in the area. The militants had reportedly managed to observe movement of troops in the area and laid their ambush some distance short from that of the Army personnel. As the ultras didn't turn up till 5 am, the Army personnel started returning to their camp. Enroute, the militants who had laid an ambush resorted to heavy firing on the soldiers, who retaliated. A brief but heavy exchange of firing took place between the two sides in which four Army personnel sacrificed their lives and another jawan was injured. A militant was also killed in the operation while his associate managed to escape. Enforcement of Army and police rushed to the spot after getting a report of the gunbattle and cordoned off the area. A search operation has been launched in the area to trace the militant, who managed to escape during exchange of firing, the sources said. Bodies of the Army jawans were shifted to a Military Hospital. Injured jawan has also been hospitalised. Army jawans killed in the operation have been identified as JCO Naib Subedar Arun Dass, Sepoy Neta Ji, Keshav Ram Naushad and Mahesh Kumar, all from Rashtriya Rifles. The injured was Havaldar Janveer Singh. His condition was stated to be out of danger. A Lashkar 'area commander', who was killed in the operation, has been identified as Abu Jabran alias Ali. His associate, however, remained untraced, the sources said, adding a search operation was going on in the area. One AK-47 rifle, three magazines and seven rounds were recovered from the slain militant, who was believed to be a Pakistani and was operating in Surankote tehsil for past quite sometime. He was involved in a series of militant activities in the border district. Bodies of the Army jawans were in the process of being sent to their native towns. According to sources, the militants had advantage of taking position atop a hill from where they could see movement of the Army personnel from a distance. 'This was the reason that the militants managed to inflict four casualties on the Army', the sources said. In a search operation, Army and Commando Group Surankote recovered some explosive devices from village Marhot in Surankote tehsil last night. No arrests were made from the spot.