At least five militants and two soldiers have been killed in an ongoing gunbattle at a remote village in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, some 115 km from here.
A police official said that the encounter begin on Friday after they received information about presence of militants in Marsarri village in Chowkibal area of Kupwara. The operation was stopped in the night and resumed in the morning, he said.
It ended on Saturday afternoon after the house in which the militants were hiding was completely destroyed in the gunfight.
Deputy inspector general of police, north Kashmir, Gareeb Das told HT that four army soldiers have been injured in the operation.
“Two jawans were critically injured in the initial contact and they have succumbed to their injuries. An officer and another jawan have also received some minor injuries,” he said.
The slain soldiers have been identified as Naik Shinde Shankar Chandrabhan(34), a resident of Nasik in Maharashtra and Gunner Sahadev Maruti More(26) from Bijapur in Karnataka.
Senior superintendent of police, Kupwara, Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, said that the five slain militants were part of a group of Jaish-e-Mohammad who were roaming the district for the past few days.
Officials said that a huge cache of arms and ammunition have also been recovered from the site including five AK-47 rifles, 25 magazines, one radio set, grenades, sleeping bags, shoes, and white jackets to camouflage in the snow.
The village, where the encounter is going on, is situated in a remote corner of the district, some 30 km from the main Kupwara town, and is nestled in a hilly region surrounded by forests.
At least three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, including a top commander, were killed in an encounter with security forces in the district’s Dardpora village on January 29.