Four Militants, Soldier Killed In North Kashmir Encounter

3 September 2015
The Hindustan Times
Toufiq Rashid

Srinagar: Four militants and a soldier were killed in a gun battle in northern Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, a day after a jawan died in a skirmish in the militancy-hit state. The fresh encounter began in the Vilgam area of Handwara around 8:30pm on Wednesday. The encounter site, which is near a forest, has been cordoned off. The operation was conducted by the Rashtriya Rifles, para forces and a special operations group of police. According to police sources, the encounter is over but a search operation is on. Police are trying to verify whether the militants were part of some newly infiltrated group or an old group that was operating in the area for a long time. On Wednesday morning, a jawan was killed when militants fired at security forces. A militant - identified as Riyaz Ahmad of Brath Kalan in Sopore - was also killed when the army razed the house where the militants were holed up. According to officials, Ahmad was a local commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen. Ahmad is believed to be involved in the recent attacks on telecom operators in Sopore. Last week, three militants were killed and a foreign militant, Sajad Hussain, was captured alive after an encounter with security forces. In recent weeks, J-K has witnessed a spike in militant violence that coincided with a downturn in ties between India and Pakistan. Planned talks between the national security advisers of the two countries collapsed last month amidst diplomatic acrimony.