4 militants killed in encounter in Kashmir’s Kupwara, close to LoC
Four unidentified militants have been killed in an encounter in the forests of Hafradu in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, close to the Line of Control (LoC), the Army said on Saturday.
The Army and police had launched a joint operation in the forests of Shah Nagri Vilgam, about 8–9 km from the LoC, on Friday after they received specific information about the presence of militants.
Officials said the operation was still underway and the possibility of more militants hiding in the forests could not be ruled out.
Army officials said during searches, militants opened fire on the forces, triggering retaliation, in which three militants were killed on Friday, while another militant was killed on Saturday morning.
An Army spokesman said the identities of the slain militants were being ascertained.
Officials said that the slain militants could be foreigners who had infiltrated recently through the LoC from Kupwara.
The encounter took place at a time when the snow had started melting from the mountains and ridges of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
In the past, militants have used the forests of Shamsabari range to sneak into the Valley from the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
After crossing the LoC, the militants use Hafradu forests, where the encounter happened, as a transition point before moving to Baramulla or Bandipore districts.