Four soldiers, militant killed in gun battles in north Kashmir

  • Toufiq Rashid, Srinagar, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Oct 05, 2015 12:36 IST
A skirmish erupted during an operation in Lolab. (ANI Photo)

Four soldiers and a militant were killed in two gun battles in Kupwara district of north Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, a day after two terrorists were killed in in Tral area of Pulwama district of the state.

An operation was launched in Haphruda forest in Handwara, following information about the presence of militants. Officials said the army and the state police’s Special Operation Group carried out the operation.

Four soldiers were killed in the gun battle with the militants, the army said.

The gunfight, which erupted on Sunday night, was still on, said an army spokesperson in Srinagar.

In a separate incident, a skirmish broke out during an operation in Lolab area in which a militant was killed, an army spokesperson said.

On Sunday, two militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) -- believed to be Pakistani nationals -- were killed and a soldier was injured in an encounter in Pulwama.

The slain militants were identified as Salim, alias Adil Pathan, and Rehman, alias Burmi, police sources said, adding they were suspected to be Pakistani nationals.

Pakistan-based JeM has been blamed for several major attacks in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi, including the one on Parliament on December 13, 2001.

Across Jammu and Kashmir, there were 70 infiltration bids last year during which 65 terrorists managed to sneak in while 136 were pushed back. In 2013, there were 91 bids by 280 terrorists and 97 were able to slip past the army’s three-tiered counter-infiltration grid.

The recent spike in violence in the state comes against the backdrop of a sharp downturn in relations between India and Pakistan following the cancellation of talks between the national security advisers in August. India has insisted that Pakistan must address the issue of terrorism to create grounds for the resumption of bilateral talks.

(With agency inputs)

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