Three soldiers and a woman were killed when militants ambushed an army patrol in Shopian area of south Kashmir, police said on Thursday, the third such strike against troops in Jammu and Kashmir in less than 10 days.
While the army did confirm the strike, it didn’t say anything about casualties. A spokesperson said details were being ascertained. Two senior officers were among the injured, sources told HT.
Six men of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles were injured when militants fired at an army patrol in Mulu Chitragam area of Shopian on Thursday morning, police said. Local sources put the number of injured at eight.
Three soldiers later succumbed to their injuries, police sources said.
The men came under fire at around 2am as they were returning after a search operation in Kungnoo. A woman suffered bullet injuries in the exchange of fire. She died on way to hospital, sources said.
This is the third time in 10 days that the army has come under attack in Kashmir. A major was killed and three militants gunned down in north Kashmir’s Handwara on February 14.
The same morning, three soldiers and a militant were killed in a gunfight in Bandipora, 57km away from Handwara.
Following these attacks, army chief Bipin Rawat had warned that those who hinder counter-insurgency operations or display flags of Pakistan and the Islamic State in Kashmir would be considered as “anti-national” and would “face action”.
A civilian was killed in Kulgam as locals protested the killings of militants on February 13.
The state government has also asked local youth not to run towards the site of gunbattle and has declared three-kilometer area around an encounter site as a no-go zone in Srinagar, Budgam and Shopian districts.
Security forces say locals rushing to site of gunfights help militants to escape.
The restrictions will not apply to ambulances, medical and paramedical staff as well as government employees.