Gun Battle In Handwara, 5 Militants Trapped

21 November 2015
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: Five militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) have been trapped by security forces in North Kashmir's Rajwar forests tonight and a fierce gun battle is on and in Srinagar security forces today averted a major tragedy when they detected and defused a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted on Srinagar-Baramulla part of National Highway at Narbal on the outskirts of Srinagar. Army and police launched a joint operation in the Bawan Watsar forest area of Rajwar in Handwara in the frontier district of Kupwara this evening. A search party of the troops was fired upon and they have trapped around 5 LeT militants inside the forests. Heavy firing is going on and more troops have been rushed to the area to cordon off more forest area so that the militants don't manage to flee. Earlier, last week Army had launched an operation in Kupwara forest area which is still going on. An Army Colonel was killed and 5 security men were injured in the operation so far. Meanwhile, security forces averted a major tragedy on the outskirts of Srinagar today when they detected and defused a powerful IED planted on Srinagar-Baramulla part of National Highway at Narbal on the outskirts of Srinagar. The IED was detected by the Road Opening Party of 2-Rashtriya Rifles (RR) of Army and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) under a culvert and was planted to target the security forces. The IED was wrapped in a cloth and put under a culvert. Traffic was suspended, on the highway that remains busy during the day. The IED was defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad in nearby paddy fields without causing any damage. Senior police, CRPF and army officers reached the spot and assessed the situation. The traffic was later resumed on the highway. A CRPF spokesman while giving details said: 'An IED (Improvised Explosive Device) was recovered by CRPF along with 2 Rashtriya Rifles on HMT-Narbal route near Beacon Huts in Lawaypora area at around 0655 Hours. Immediately after receiving such information of planting an IED between Shaltang Chowk and Narbal Crossing a joint search operation was launched by 73 Bn CRPF, 44 Bn CRPF and 2RR between Parimpora and Shaltang Chowk under supervision of SK Tigga, DIG CRPF, Srinagar.' 'The search parties traced out one burnt HE (High Explosive)Bomb alongwith a container having approximate weight of 3-4 Kgs which were planted under culvert near Beacon Huts in Lawaypora on NH-1(A). The teams of CRPF and Rashtriya Rifles recovered it around 0655 hours. Later, the BDD Squad of J&K Police were informed about the recovery which was later detonated successfully at around 0940 Hours', the spokesman said. 'Prima facie it appears that it was planted to target Security Forces deployed in the area. However, an FIR has been lodged in Police Station Parimpora in this regard for further investigations', the spokesman added. In the meantime, Army today recovered Artillery shells in Thajiwara area of Bijbehara in South Kashmir's Anantnag district. Reports said that a party of 19 RR of the Army spotted the shells. The area was cordoned off and the Bomb Disposal Squad was called in and the two shells were detonated.