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Four militants killed in encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district

The militants had infiltrated into Indian territory from across the LoC six days ago, prompting security forces to launch a search operation in the area.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2018 19:27 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Militants,Jammu and Kashmir,Rajouri
Indian army soldiers take positions near the Line of Control in Nowshera sector of Rajouri near Jammu.(PTI File Photo)

Four heavily armed Pakistani militants were killed in a forested zone along the line of control in Rajouri district’s Sunderbani area on Wednesday. The development follows a six-day-long search of the region by security forces.

“Four militants were killed by security forces in Rewarian, Talan and Kanura Likki,” said Rajouri deputy commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

While the deaths have been confirmed, doubts were raised after a few schoolgirls claimed that they saw four men drinking from a natural spring in the area. “We are probing the inputs provided by the girls to check if they saw the same militants eliminated today,” the deputy commissioner said. “For now, we maintain that all four are dead, and sanitisation operations have been launched.”

Earlier in the day, security forces recovered three bags of explosives outside a CRPF camp in Sunderbani. The district administration ordered the closure of schools in the area as a precautionary measure.

Choudhary said the militants had infiltrated into Indian territory through the LoC six days ago. “The army, state police and the CRPF have been jointly searching for them since then. Security forces suffered no casualty in the operation,” he added.

Director general of police SP Vaid also confirmed the development. “Four terrorists were killed in a joint operation in Sunderbani. The group had entered the country recently,” he said.

A senior intelligence officer said the militants were earlier sighted in Minka and Bharote after the army deployed drones through Tuesday and Monday. “They had split into smaller groups to dodge security forces. We learnt from radio intercepts that they had also seen the drones,” he added.

According to the intelligence officer, one of the terrorists was heard hollering “Parinda oopar ghoom raha hain (the bird is hovering over us)” before he went back into hiding.

“Given that Sunderbani has many defence installations, we believe the militants planned to carry out an attack akin to the one on the Sunjuwan military station. They were carrying a large amount of arms and ammunition. However, we managed to eliminate the four before they could execute their plan,” he said.

At least three heavily armed Fidayeen fighters from the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Afzal Guru Brigade had attacked Jammu’s Sunjuwan military station in the early hours of February 10, killing six soldiers and a civilian.

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 18:20 IST