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The army’s ongoing operation to thwart a major infiltration bid in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district entered the third day on Friday, with no major progress on retrieving the bodies of the 10-12 slain militants.
The army said the combing operation had been “deliberately slow” to avoid casualties in the tough terrain, where militants had hidden themselves, taking advantage of the green cover and mountain crevices. The operation is spread over 5 square km, with the area dotted with trees, steep slopes and streams.
“We want to wear them (militants) out. They (militants) are hiding in different locations. We are deliberately going slow as the terrain is very difficult,” said Srinagar-based army spokesman colonel Brijesh Pandey.
“A few militants may have returned to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.”
On the night of September 24-25, the army suspected 30 militants, belonging to four militant organisations, made infiltration bids from several points from the Keran sector, near the Line of Control (LOC) in Kupwara, more than 100 km from Srinagar.