7 Top LeT, HM Ultras Killed; Lt Injured
26 September 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Seven militants including three infiltrators from Pakistan were gunned down in stepped-up anti-militancy operations in Poonch, Doda and Ramban districts today. Three to four infiltrators were still trapped in Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district and a search operation was on to kill them. An Army Lt in a face to face encounter with an infiltrator in Balakote. The Lt identified as Prikshit Sharma killed the intruder but in the process sustained two gun shots and was seriously injured. He has been airlifted to Military Hospital, Udhampur. Official sources said troops of 3-11 Gorkha Rifles observed movement of six to seven militants trying to infiltrate into Indian territory from forward village of Battal Kanja in Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil in wee hours of this morning. As the infiltrators came within the firing range, they were challenged and asked to surrender. However, the militants separated themselves in three groups and opened firing on troops from different directions. Army personnel retaliated. Exchange of firing between the security personnel and the militants continued for more than 10 hours. While two infiltrators were gunned down by the troops this morning, the third one fell to the bullets in the afternoon. Troops continued searches in forward areas of Balakote as three to four infiltrators were suspected to be hiding in the area. The operation was on when the reports last came in. Sources said Lt P Sharma had a face to face gun fight and clash with a Pakistan foreign mercenary Abu Ubaid of Gujranwalla. In about 15 minutes clash, the young Army officer succeeded in eliminating the foreign mercenary but sustained two gun wounds. He was later airlifted to Udhampur and admitted in the Military Hospital. Besides Abu Ubaid, two other Pakistanis killed in the operation have been identified as Abu Bakar and Abu Nadeem. Recoveries made from the scene of encounter include three AK-47 rifles with three magazines and 374 rounds, three wireless sets, one satellite telephone, nine hand grenades, one wire cutter, one binocular, a large quantity of dry fruit and pencil cells, one Global Positioning System (GPS), three pouches and a medical kit. Troops of 10 Rashtriya Rifles and Doda Police eliminated two militants at village Ghat under the jurisdiction of Doda police station this morning. Army and police swung into action after developing an information that two militants had taken shelter in the house of one Ghulam Hassan son of Abdul Gaffar Par, a resident of Ghat. The house was surrounded and the militants were asked to come out, SSP Doda Manohar Singh said. The militants opened firing and tried to escape but they were chased by Army and police and engaged in the gunbattle. Both ultras were killed in the subsequent operation. They have been identified as Mohd Shafi alias Nasir-ul-Islam alias Delta One son of Nizam Din Mir R-o Shuryan and Javed Iqbal alias Umar Gazi son of Amirullah Dev R-o Zihand, Doda. Mohd Shafi was 'divisional commander' of Hizbul Mujahideen while Javed Iqbal was 'district commander' of the outfit. From their possession, security forces recovered two pistols with two magazines and 11 rounds, four grenades, two mobile telephones, one satellite phone and incriminating documents. Both of them were involved in a series of subversive operations across Doda district. Mohd Shafi was one of the longest surviving militant. He was instrumental in inducting a number of local youths into militancy. Troops of Rashtriya Rifles and police killed two Lashkar-e- Toiba (LeT) militants at Gagna, Gool in Ramban district this afternoon. They have been identified as Abdul Rasheed son of Jamal Din Chopan R-o Pari, Seeldhar and Liaquat Ali alias Furqan son of Gulabu Gujjar R-o Lancha, Gool. One Insas rifle, four rounds and a hand grenade were recovered from them. Killing of seven militants in a day was a big setback to LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen outfits, sources said. With the killings, a total of 11 militants have been gunned down by Army and police during last 48 hours. On Monday night, two militants and a SPO were killed at Sanyara Mohalla in Bafliaz area of Surankote tehsil in Poonch district while last night, two more militants were killed in Budhal area of Rajouri district.