Indian soldier, three militants killed in Kupwara; spokesman

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SRINAGAR: A para commando and three militants were killed while two soldiers were injured in two separate encounters in North Kashmir’s Kupwara forests, an Indian spokesman has said.

KUPWARA (J&K): Indian soldiers patrolling in Kupwara following the armed encounter.

A joint team of Army’s 23 Para commandos, 21 RAJ RIF, 160 Territorial Army (TA), Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cordoned off Gujarpati forest area in Zurhama area of Kupwara district following specific inputs about the presence of two to three militants there.
As the security forces launched the searches, the hiding militants opened fire on troops, triggering an encounter in which, an Army soldier Havaldar Jitender Singh of 21 Raj Rifles was killed and two soldiers were injured, who were rushed to nearby Drugmulla Military Hospital for treatment.
Sources said that a militant group of Lashkar-e-Toiba headed by Saifullah were on their way towards Line of Control (LoC) to receive a group of infiltrators.
Army’s Srinagar based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said that one soldier was killed and two others were injured in the operation which is still going on.
Additional reinforcement has been rushed to the area and the operation has been suspended as darkness set in. SSP Shamsher Hussain told Excelsior that security forces received information about movement of three militants in the area since last night and launched searches in the area today. He said that one Army jawan was killed and another injured in the encounter and firing continued till 3 p.m and since then it has stopped. He, however, said that operation is going on.
Hussain said that apparently it looks that the group has come into the area from Handwara to receive militants from LoC. Three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter in Magam area of Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
A joint team of Army, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation at Khar Mohalla in Magam early today after inputs about presence of a militant group in the area.