One trooper missing, army press drones, rushes reinforcements
Srinagar, March 21: Three army soldiers and two Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel were killed in an ongoing encounter with militants at Check Fatehkhan, Halmatpora area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
One more militant was killed taking the death toll of militants to five in the ongoing operation while one soldier is also missing, official sources said.
The deceased have been identified as Havaldar Zorawar of 3 JAK Rifles who was attached with 160 Territorial Army (TA), Mohammad Ashraf Rather of same TA battalion, Naik Ranjeet Khalho of 5 Bihar while two SOG men as Mohammad Yousuf Cheche (SPO) of Kachama, Kupwara and Deepak Pandit of Nagrota, Jammu.
Also, four government forces personnel including Sub Inspector (SI) Harvinder Singh, Javaid Ahmad of SOG, one army soldier and a CRPF trooper were injured.
While the firefight was intermittently going on throughout the night, it intensified since morning and was going on when this report was filed.
The army has recovered four militant bodies from the encounter site. While three militant bodies were found early Wednesday morning, the other was retrieved later, they said. Police have said that so far five militants have been killed.
Sources said that one soldier Rifleman Abdul Majeed Bajad of 160 is missing and it could not be immediately known whether he is dead or there is some other reason for it.
“The soldier is missing and his fate is not known,” a police source said.
The army has also pressed drones to track the militants. The army also rushed reinforcement of 5 Bihar and 4 para commandos today in the morning and has also cordoned off areas in the peripheries of the Halmatpora.
Sources said that firing has stopped at around 6:30 pm and when this report was filed, there was a lull as per a senior army officer.
A police spokesman said that in the ongoing encounter, so far 05 militants have been neutralized; all of whom are understood to be foreign militants and part of a freshly infiltrated group.
“In the process, a huge cache of arms and ammunition and other incriminating materials which include AK 47 rifles, grenades, etc were recovered from the encounter site,” the spokesman said.
The encounter started when a group of militants believed to be seven in number fired upon a joint team of army and SOG at Check Fatehkhan forests on Tuesday afternoon. (GNS)