Army Launches Large-scale Operation

8 October 2009
Rising Kashmir

Srinagar: The troops have launched large scale search operations deeper into the jungles in Khrew to flush out a group of 8-10 militants hiding in the woods. “The troops have launched combing operation in the entire area,” Army spokesman Lt Col J S Brar said. The army operation has been going on in the area since Tuesday after a gunfight between militants and a search party. The intermittent gunfight continued till Wednesday and army claimed to have killed a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant in the encounter. Four army troopers were also injured in the shoot-out. The militants, according to sources, are hiding in the forest area and are said to be 8-10 in number. “We are moving cautiously to trap the militants hiding in the area. The operational area is vast and the area is also rugged. There are also bushes, thus making it cumbersome for the troops to go on a fast speed,” said SP Awantipora Bashir Ahmad Khan. He said no fresh contact was established with the militants in the forest area of Khrew on Thursday. Asked whether the cordon has also been laid out from Tral and surrounding areas, the police officer said the main assault is being led from the Khrew forests. “The troops are doing utmost to flush out the militants from the forest area”. He identified the militant killed in the encounter as Mudasir Bashir of Gadibal, Charsoo, Awantipore. “For six years he was working with Hizbul Mujahideen and had recently joined Lashkar-e-Toiba”. Another police official said Mudasir was a bomb expert. “Known as Doctor Bhai, Mudasir had left his BDS degree. The slain militant was involved in the recent car bar explosion hear Central Jail, Srinagar,” he said. The official said, “We suspect another militant was injured in the operation. So we are keeping a close watch on medicos in the surrounding areas”. Army had yesterday pressed helicopters into service to track the militants but the sorties proved unsuccessful in locating the militant positions.