Toll In Tangdhar Sector Gunbattle Goes Up To Five

1 June 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Azhar Qadri

Srinagar: The Army on Monday launched a massive search operation in the remote Tangdhar sector of north Kashmir's Kupwara district where four militants have been killed in a fierce fighting near the Line of Control (LoC). The Army had yesterday reported the killing of three militants but with the recovery of bodies today, the number of the militants killed goes to four. The Army also recovered a charred body from the debris whose identity has not been established taking the toll in the firefight to five, army sources said. The unidentified body has been handed over to the police. Four AK-47 assault rifles and one under barrel grenade launcher (UBGL) has been recovered from the site, the sources said. The gunfight in Tangdhar had erupted on Sunday morning when a group of militants had crossed the LoC near Kulsuri Ridge in the remote sector and were intercepted by soldiers near Bakhiyan village, close to the Army's 104 Infantry Brigade headquarters. The intense firefight between militants and soldiers, which took place more than 2 km from the LoC, continued for several hours till last evening. Sources said there was a possibility that it was group of infiltrating militants who lost their way and headed close to Tangdhar town. The Army launched a search operation in the area after no fresh shots were fired from the militants who had taken shelter in residential houses. During the search, the Army found four bodies of militants and also recovered their weapons. The sources said a search operation was continuing in the area throughout the day on Monday to ensure no militant had escaped from the cordon. There was no damage to the Army in the operation. Tangdhar sector is one of the key routes used by militants to enter Kashmir valley and has been a scene a deadly firefights in the past. Three soldiers and a militant were killed near the Line of Control in Tangdhar sector on May 25 Monday when the Army's forward patrol was intercepted by a group of infiltrating militants. Infiltration by militants into the Kashmir valley recedes in winter months as the heavy snowfall along the mountainous LoC blocks passes. The infiltration resumes with the onset of summer as snow melts over mountains clearing the infiltration routes.