2 Army Jawans, 2 LeT Militants Killed In Handwara

11 September 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Two Army personnel and equal number of Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in a fierce encounter in Laribal forest area of Handwara in North Kashmir's Kupwara district today. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), North Kashmir Garib Dass told Excelsior that police had information about presence of a group of 5-6 LeT militants in the area few days back. He said that an operation was launched, however, they slipped out ahead of cordon and search operation. 'Last evening an operation was launched after there were reports that some members of the group are coming to Laribal village for supplies. Army and Police launched a joint operation in which they were challenged', the DIG said. Dass said that the militant group opened fire on the troops leading to killing of two Army men. 'The cordon was strengthened and the militants were chased during which they were shot dead', he said. DIG said that two bodies of army men and two LeT militants were recovered in the morning. 'The search operation is still on and we are looking for the other members of the group', he added. Reports said that Army's 21 RR and SOG Handwara launched operation last night during which militants opened fire on troops killing two Army men identified as Desh Panday and Chitra Sahai. In the morning, Army and police recovered bodies of the two Army men and two LeT militants from Pakistan. Army's elite para-commandos were also rushed to assist the Army and Police in the operation. Army also used helicopters to trace out the rest of the members of the group. Srinagar based Defence spokesman said here that Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police in a joint operation gunned down two terrorists in a fierce ongoing encounter near Laribal, Handwara. 'Two Army soldiers also made the supreme sacrifice in the operation', he said. 'Based on specific intelligence input about the presence of some terrorists in the Rajwar forest in Handwara, Kupwara District, a joint operation was launched by the Army and JKP on Thursday evening', the spokesman said. The spokesman said: 'As the operations progressed to track down the terrorists, contact was established at night and a fierce gun battle ensued which continued intermittently throughout the night. In the operations so far which are still continuing, two heavily armed terrorists have been eliminated and a large quantity of arms, ammunition and other war like stores have been recovered including two AK-47 rifles, two pistols and one UBGL with eight grenades. The identity of the killed terrorists is being ascertained.' The spokesman said: 'Two Army soldiers have attained martyrdom during the operations. The Army is continuing to search and sanitise the area so that no harm befalls the people living in nearby areas.'