3 LeT Militants Killed In Handwara

23 August 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Three militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in a fierce overnight gun battle with security forces in North Kashmir's Zachaldara forests and a massive operation has been launched in Lacchipora forests in Uri after a group of 5 militants was spotted there. Police and Army including elite 4-Para have launched a massive operation this evening in Lacchipora forests after a group of 5 foreign militants were spotted there. The Army and police have cordoned off a large portion of forest area and laid ambushes. However, no contact was established till last reports came in. In the meantime, militants hurled a grenade at the residence of one Manzoor Ahmad Dar at Panzgam Awantipora tonight. It exploded with a big bang but no one was hurt in the attack. Police and Army reached the spot and are assessing the situation. Earlier, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) North Kashmir, Garib Dass, told Excelsior that they had information about militant movement in Zachaldara forest area of North Kashmir's Handwara Police district for past 5-6 days. 'We were keeping an eye on their movement and they had come to the village to buy the grocery and we were already waiting for them', he said. The DIG said that three militants were killed in the Zachaldara operation and they belong to the LeT. He said that these militants were young and highly trained. The Army's 21 RR, 6 RR and 9 Para and Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police last evening conducted operation against these militants in Zachaldara forests. Reports said that when 9 Para that was leading the operation challenged the militants, they were fired upon resulting in the injuring to an Army officer. He was removed to hospital for treatment. The encounter between the troops and the militants continued throughout the night and in which one militant was killed. In the morning two militants who were hiding in corn fields outside the village were fired at by the troops killing them on the spot. The Army and police later conducted searches of the area and recovered three AK-47 rifles, 14 magazines and large quantity of AK-47 ammunition, six UBGL grenades, four Chinese grenades, two maps, three radio sets, two rucksacks and other war like stores. Army and police are conducting the searches of the forests for more militants. However, so far they have found no traces. All these militants were foreigners and reports said that they have recently infiltrated into these forests from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Sources said that two of these militants were very young and were fidayeen who were waiting for the instructions from their handlers. An Army spokesman said here that based on specific intelligence reports about presence of terrorists in Village Krumhura near Rainwari forest of Handwara, a joint operation was launched by Rashtriya Rifles units of Army and JKP, resulting in elimination of three terrorists and recovery of three AK-47 rifles, besides a large haul of other warlike stores. 'Intelligence inputs about presence of some terrorists in the general area of village Krumhura was received by the Army in the early hours of August 22, 2015. The operation was launched immediately and an effective cordon was established by day break by the Rashtriya Rifle units and JKP blocking all possible escape routes', the statement said. The spokesman said: 'As the noose was tightened during the day, the terrorists hiding in the area opened heavy volume of fire at approximately 2030 hrs on August 22, 2015. In the ensuing fire fight and precise engagement, three terrorists were eliminated. One Army officer who was injured during the operation was immediately evacuated for treatment and his condition is stable.' 'The bodies of three terrorists were recovered from the site and handed over to the Police. Three AK-47 rifles, 14 magazines and large quantity of AK-47 ammunition, six UBGL grenades, four Chinese grenades, two maps, three radio sets, two rucksacks and other war like stores have been recovered from the killed terrorists whose identity is yet to be established. The search operation was still on till last reports came in', the spokesman added.