Five heavily armed militants were killed during a combing-and-neutralisation operation by the army in the Kupwara district of Kashmir on Saturday.
“In the ongoing search operations in Keran sector, a total of eight terrorists have been killed till date. Of these, five were killed today (Saturday),” said army spokesman Col J.S. Brar in Srinagar.
A large number militants wearing snow gear and carrying fence-cutting machines and weapons were intercepted by the army in Keran sector on Wednesday while they were trying to sneak in from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir near the Line of Control.
The army claimed it had succeeded in pushing back the infiltrators on the same day. However, during the ongoing operation, more militants were spotted in the Keran sector, more than 140 km north of Srinagar, on Saturday.
The hilly range in the Keran sector is covered by dense forest and vegetation, which the militants are using to their advantage. The area is under 12-15 feet of snow.
“The identity of the slain terrorists is yet to be ascertained,” Brar said.
The army claims to have foiled 60 attempts of infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir since the beginning of 2010 and expects more infiltration. The killing of eight militants in an infiltration bid in Kupwara is one of the biggest attempts this year by militants to sneak into the Valley.
On Friday, Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor after his meeting with Home Minister P. Chidambaram said, “Infiltration has increased in Jammu and Kashmir this winter in comparison to last winter.”
Intelligence inputs have suggested that militant groups in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir were desperately trying to revive militancy in the state after a lull in 2009.