8 Militants Killed In Kashmir27 March 2010
The Telegraph (Kolkata)
Srinagar: Security forces have killed eight militants in Kupwara district in an encounter that began on Thursday, the infiltration bid being the first in Kashmir this year. The infiltration attempt came two days after top militant leaders vowed to “liberate Kashmir” by calling jihad against India at a meeting at Kotli in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Leaders from terrorist outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Hizb-ul Mujahideen had gathered at the Defence of Pakistan Conference on Tuesday and opposed talks between New Delhi and Islamabad. Infiltration bids in the Valley are less in winter because of heavy snowfall. Militants try to enter India through Jammu during this period because the cold is less biting there. The home ministry had said yesterday that Pakistan-based militants had made at least 60 attempts to enter India through Jammu this year. Defence spokesperson Lt Col. J.S. Brar said eight militants had died in the operation in Keran so far. “The encounter started on Thursday and is still going on,” he said. The militants had fired at the army after they were intercepted on Thursday. Two terrorists were killed on the spot while a third was gunned down yesterday. “Five were shot dead today. It is a high-altitude area which has dense vegetation and 15 feet of residual snow,” the spokesperson said. In two other encounters, four militants were killed in Jammu, where, according to intelligence reports, there has been a surge in infiltration this year. Police and the army killed two top Lashkar militants in Jammu’s Kishtwar district. Lt Col. Biplab Nath, the defence spokesperson in Jammu, said the security forces had laid a cordon around the place where the militants were hiding. “Our column came under fire from the terrorists. An operation was undertaken in which two hardcore Lashkar militants, Rehmatullah alias Saifullah, and Nissar Ahmed Parrey, a recent recruit, were killed,” he said. Nath said Rehmatullah was a resident of Doda district and had played a key role in reviving the Lashkar in Kishtwar district. The army killed two more militants in the second encounter in Jammu’s Rajouri district today. The Lashkar militants, Abu Osama and Abu Surab, were killed after a gunfight that continued for two hours.