At least two army personnel were killed and six others injured in two separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of government formation in New Delhi.
A trooper, identified as rifleman Mushtaq Ahmad Mir, was killed in militants’ fire in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, when a group of hiding militants fired at the security forces’ patrol, cordoning off Chodur’s Kaisermulah village, 40 km away from here.
According to a police spokesman, Mir was associated with the Army’s 53 Rashtriya Rifles, which is still engaging the hiding militants. Two to three militants are suspected to be hiding in the area.
Preliminary reports suggested that the militants were holed up inside a residential house. The operation, which started on Monday after noon, was launched after the security agencies received a tip-off on the presence of wanted Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Qasim, a selfstyled operation commander and a suspect in several high-profile attacks in the Valley.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the exchange of fire has stopped, but the army is still searching for the militants. Three soldiers were injured in the encounter.
The state’s winter capital, Jammu, also witnessed militant violence on Monday. A soldier, identified as Vinod Kumar, was killed when militants triggered an improvised explosive device in Jammu’s border area of Pallanwala sector at around 10 am.
The militants, who had apparently planted the mine, returned towards Pakistan after the attack. The army has not divulged the details of the attack so far.