Soldier, Two Militants Killed As Army Foils Infiltration Attempts

9 August 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: A soldier and two unidentified militants were killed in two separate ongoing operations along the Line of Control (LoC) in the frontier Kupwara district since Saturday evening. The two operations - one in Keran and the other in Tangdhar - are taking place at a distance of about 25 km. Defence sources said that the two groups of militants were intercepted by troops between the LoC and the anti-insurgency obstacle system (AIOS), a fence, when they were trying to sneak into the Valley from across the border A Territorial Army soldier identified as Bashir Ahmad War was killed and two jawans of the elite Para unit of the Army were injured in a gunfight in the Tanghdar sector, some 130 km from here, late Saturday when they were carrying out a combing operation in the area. A tracker dog of the Army also died in the firefight. Unconfirmed reports, however, say the TA soldier was captured by militants and later shot dead along with the sniffer dog. The Army spokesman, however, denied the report. 'The firefight erupted on Saturday afternoon when a group of heavily armed militants was challenged near Ragni post in the Tangdhar sector. The infiltrators opened a heavy volume of fire and injured two soldiers before fleeing deep into the forested area,' a defence source said. 'The troops later launched a massive combing operation to flush out the militants and late Saturday another contact with the militants was established in which a solider of the Territorial Army was killed along with a tracker dog,' he said. The sources said there had been no exchange of fire between the two sides since morning and the combing operation was going slow due to the dense forest. The Army has pressed in helicopters to locate the militants hiding in the forest area. A tight cordon is being maintained in the area to ensure no militant manages to flee. While the Tangdhar operation was on, another group of militants was intercepted by troops this morning in the Jumgund area of the Keran sector, close to the AIOS fence. 'The group was challenged around 4 am. It opened fire, triggering a firefight. In the gunfight, two unidentified militants were killed,' the Army spokesman in Srinagar said. 'We have recovered the bodies along with two AK-47 rifles,' he added. The identity and group affiliation of the militants is yet to be established. The spokesman said the combing operation in the Keran sector was still in progress. Besides the two latest bids in Kupwara, the Army has this year foiled eight infiltration attempts in the Kashmir region in which 17 militants and four soldiers were killed. Last week General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha had said that no militant had been able to sneak into the Valley this year. However, after the revelations of captured Pakistani militant Naveed that he sneaked into the Valley in April through the Kupwara sector, the Army said they were looking into the matter. Naveed was captured in Udhampur after carrying out an attack on a BSF convoy on Wednesday.