The security forces on Wednesday killed three militants in a gunbattle to flush out a fresh batch of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militants hiding in a forest range in north Kashmir’s Handwara area in Kupwara district.
A Srinagar–based spokesman of the zonal police headquarters on Wednesday confirmed retrieving three bodies of militants from the ongoing encounter site inside the Wadder Bala forests of Handwara, more than 60 km north of Srinagar.
One militant was killed in the encounter on Tuesday morning between 6am and 10am. “Naib Subedar Rajesh Kumar also lost his life in the gunbattle,” said the spokesman.
The fire was reportedly halted for the night and the exchange of firing resumed on Wednesday morning near Petta village. Sources said the security forces have been chasing a batch of LeT militants since October 13 in these forests. There has been intermitted exchange of firing between the hiding militants, taking cover of forests dotting tall trees and bushes, and the security forces.
The police and the army’s different Rashtriya Rifles groups are engaged in the joint operation in the forest range, which connects with border district of Kupwara, close to the Line of Control.
“The operation is on,” said the spokesman. The security forces are combing the area, fearing presence of more militants.
The identity of the slain militants could not be established immediately. The killings have come just when the state is preparing for the polls next month.