The Indian Army is engaged in one of this year's biggest multiple infiltration bids in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, more than 100 km from Srinagar.
At least 12 militants are believed to be dead as 30 from four militants groups were pushed across the Line of Control recently.
"A gunbattle is on in Kupwara's Keran sector. Our troops have seen 10 to 12 bodies of militants. We are in no hurry to retrieve the bodies till all terrorists are killed," said Srinagar-based 15 Corps' GOC Lt Gen Gurmeet Singh.
A contact between infiltrators and the army was established on the intervening night of September 23 and 24. "Our alert and effective integrated security grid had prior intelligence about the infiltration. The area has been cordoned off and all escape routes plugged. This is a massive infiltration bid," said Singh.
Around 30 militants have tried to enter from four different points along the LoC, over an area of 5 km. "These infiltrating militants belong to the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Al-Badr and Hizbul Mujahideen. Our troops have displayed highest level of dedication by thwarting the bid," said Singh.
The army has captured the movement of militants from unmanned aerial vehicles. Choppers have also been pressed into the service to neutralise the militants in the ongoing operation.
The army said the militants used leaves and shrubs as camouflage to escape thermal detectors. "They are hiding in the high altitude and tough terrain where there is vegetation and small streams," said Singh.
Sources said firing from upper reaches towards the army personnel was on till late Thursday evening.
Stating that the terror infrastructure is intact across the LoC, the GOC said senior terrorist leaders had recently visited the launching pads. "There are desperate attempts by militants to infiltrate. Recently, we have foiled several such attempts. The militants are trying to use this spell of weather before the snowfall," he said.
The latest operation has come just three days after an infiltration bid was foiled on September 23 in the adjoining area of Machil sector, in which one militant was killed. The army claims it had seized a new make of pistols. On August 21, five militants were killed in a similar bid.
More than 40 militants have been killed near the LoC this year, highest as compared to figures for the last year.