6 militants, 2 jawans killed in Baramulla7 May 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Six militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit and two Army jawans were killed in a fierce gun battle in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district in North Kashmir today. Acting on an information developed by Special Operations Group (SOG) of police at Sopore, security forces last night launched an anti-militancy operation at Dogarpora village in Dangiwacha area of Barmaulla district, official sources said. Army and police personnel came under heavy and indiscriminate firing from the militants as the security forces were closing on the hideout of the ultras. A fierce exchange of firing between the two sides ensued in which an Army jawan was critically injured, the sources said adding the injured soldier later succumbed to injuries. Additional troops were rushed to the village and the cordon around the houses, where the militants were hiding, was strengthened to prevent them from escaping, the sources said. The encounter, which lasted more than 18 hours, ended with killing of six militants, all belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit. The search operations were still continuing in the area as security forces believed that there might be more ultras hiding in the area. The security officials had made an assessment about presence of three to four militants in the house when the gun fight began. After the fourth militant was eliminated, hostile firing continued towards the security forces' positions, leading to reassessment of the operation. A large quantity of arms and ammunition have been recovered from the possession of the slain militants. An Army spokesman, while confirming the killing of six militants and two jawans, refused to give any further details saying the operations were still in progress at both places. 'It is a vast area which has to be sanitized. Once the operation is over, the details will be made public,' the spokesman said. Although the security officials claimed that all the slain militants belonged to Lashkar, a spokesman of the Hizbul Mujahideen told a local news gathering agency over phone that four of the killed ultras were its cadres. The spokesman also claimed that three security force personnel were killed in the encounter. Police has described the operation as biggest success of the security forces against the militants in North Kashmir this year. This is the highest number of ultras killed in single operation in the hinterland of the Valley since the beginning of this year. Another Army jawan was killed during separate gun battle in Panzla area of Rafiabad, few kilometers away from Dangiwacha. The jawan, who was part of a security forces patrol in the Batanar forests, was shot dead by militants before fleeing from the spot, official sources said. This was second major militancy-related incident in North Kashmir in just two days. An Army Major and a jawan were killed in an encounter with militants in Bandipora district on Wednesday.