5, including JCO, 2 cops, killed in Kashmir gunbattle | india | Hindustan Times
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5, including JCO, 2 cops, killed in Kashmir gunbattle

In a grim reminder of militant presence ahead of polls, five persons, including two militants and three security personnel, were killed and seven others injured in an encounter in north Kashmir's frontier district of Kupwara. While in south Kashmir, militants left a cop critically injured.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2014 23:31 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

In a grim reminder of militant presence ahead of polls, five persons, including two militants and three security personnel, were killed and seven others injured in an encounter in north Kashmir's frontier district of Kupwara. While in south Kashmir, militants left a cop critically injured.

The encounter, which started after the sundown on Monday at Kupwara's Chowkibal area, 130 km north of Srinagar, ended on Tuesday afternoon.

"A joint operation of the army and the police was launched after specific intelligence about the presence of militants yesterday," said Srinagar-based army spokesman.

The search party zeroed in on a house in a cluster of residences. The personnel, however, failed to locate the militants despite twice combing the place. It was the third time that hiding militants fired a volley of bullets at the search party, which left two of the police's special operation group (SOG) personnel injured. However, one constable succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.

This sparked a major gunbattle with holed up militants firing from their automatic weapons. The encounter spanned for the entire night. An army's junior commissioner officer was killed in the fire fight.

In the morning, one more SOG personnel was killed. "Two terrorists were also killed in the encounter," said the army spokesman.

Arms and ammunition have been recovered from the encounter site. The combing operation was on when the report was being filed.

The two slain militants belong to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). The identity of slain cops is head constable Mohammad Shafi and constable Riyaz Ahmad, while the Army JCO Naib was identified as Subedar Kakanvari of the army's 9 PARA regiment.

Seven people, including two army jawans, four cops and one woman, also sustained bullet injuries in the exchange of fire.

In south Kashmir, militants in a hit-and-run attack left a cop wounded when he was shot at from a point blank range in Anantnag district, 55 km south of Srinagar. He received bullet injuries in the neck.

"Unknown militants shot at the cop, Shabir Ahmad, at Anatnag's Lal Chowk area. He was rushed to Srinagar's SKIMS hospital," said police spokesman.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that militants decamped with the cop's AK-47 rifle.

In north Kashmir's Baramulla district, the police claimed to have busted a militant hideout. "An AK-47 rifle, two AK-47 magazines, 50 AK Rounds and one pouch were recovered from the cowshed of a house at Sherpora, Baramulla," said the police spokesman.

There is already heightened security across the Kashmir valley in the wake of upcoming elections. Top police and army officers, who are apprehensive of militant attacks in the run to the polls, have said they were prepared to tackle any challenge. According to police census, there are around 130 active militants in the valley and do not rule out the possibility of the attempt to sabotage the polls.