13 Militants, One Jawan Dead In 8-day Operation

3 October 2008
The Indian Express

Srinagar: An eight-day-long operation launched by the Army’s paratroopers in the mountains of Harmukh concluded on Friday with the killing of 13 unidentified militants. One soldier was also killed in the operation that took place at an altitude of 15,000 feet. On September 24, the Army had received an input that a big militant group was making an inter-sector movement from Bandipore to Kangan in South Kashmir. For this, the militants took an extremely tough route through Darwaza, known only to a few Bakerwals. “It was one of the longest operations against militants conducted in treacherous terrain at an altitude of 15,000 feet,” General Officer Commanding, Kilo Force, Major General V V S Goudar said. “The operation lasted for eight days in which 13 militants and a soldier got killed.” Giving details of the operation, Goudar said on Wednesday, the Army received information about the militants’ movement from Bandipore to the Kangan valley through treacherous mountain passes. “We knew the militants were at an advantage as they were up in the mountains. So, three separate columns were sent to the mountains from three sides - Salender, Odra and Malur - to intercept the militants.”The Army commander said on the first night no contact was established with the militants. So, next morning, the paracommandos were dropped close to the militants’ positions near Chhamar Sar Lake. “The militants took advantage of rocks, folds in the ground and caves while engaging troops in the firefight,” he said. Goudar said from September 27 onwards there was a boulder to boulder fighting between the troopers and the militants while fresh reinforcements were sent to the area.