Keran encounter: Slain militants were highly trained, says army commander

Srinagar, June 11: The Army on Monday said that six militants killed in Keran area along the line of control in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district were very well trained and armed with sophisticated weapons.

Brigadier VS Chouhan, Commander of 268 Infantry Brigade, while briefing media said that the operation was conducted following “credible inputs” about the presence of a large number of Pakistani based militants in the various launch pads and they were waiting for infiltration.

“Accordingly, our troops have been vigilant and alert. On the intervening night of June 9/10, we observed a group of militants coming towards our defenses from the direction of the line of control.

Passed midnight when they were closer to the fence they were challenged, the militants fired upon the troops and tried to run back towards the LoC,” he said, adding, “Our alert and brave troops led by the young and dynamic commanders on the ground immediately retaliated and brought down effective fire on the militants thereby preventing their escape”.

The firefight continued till first light after which the intensity of the firefight increased, he said. “The militants were very well trained and armed with sophisticated weapons like AK-47 rifles, under barrel grenade launchers, grenades among other arms and ammunition.”

“Our soldiers displayed exemplary tactical acumen and leadership and were successful in eliminating all six militants who formed part of this group.

Without any causality to “our own” troops in a very precise and surgical manner, he said, “this is indeed laudable and I commend all troops who were part of the operation.”

“You would have seen a large number of warlike stores which have been recovered from these militants. It is pertinent to mention here that this infiltration took place “from between two Pakistani army posts in fact very close to one of them.

It is unlikely that this infiltration attempt could have been attempted by these militants without prior knowledge to the people who were deployed in these posts.

It is indeed unfortunate that inspite of the ceasefire agreement in place Pakistan army continues to abet and support the militants in the infiltration camps.

The Pakistani markings on a large number of recovered stores itself is an indicator and proof of Pakistan’s complicity, he said.

While replying to a question, the army commander said that forces were trying to confirm their group affiliation.

Asked why the army did not claim about the killing of Two Al-Badr militants of Haihama who were taken by the people of other side and buried there, the officer said: “We don’t have any credible inputs on that. I am not in a position to comment on it”. (GNS)

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