SRINAGAR: Three Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed on Saturday in an encounter with security forces in the forest area of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district while an Army man was killed in Pakistani troops firing in border district of Rajouri.
A police official said that acting on a tip-off about the presence of militants, police, Army and paramilitary CRPF personnel launched a joint combing operation in Satura forest area of Tral, about 36 km from summer capital Srinagar, early Saturday morning. He said the militants, who were hiding in a cave in the forest area, fired on the security personnel after being challenged to surrender.
The fire was returned by the troops, triggering an encounter. “Since the militants were hiding in a cave, it took meticulous planning from security forces to pinpoint their positions and engage them in the gunfight. The encounter continued till this evening during which three militants were killed,” the police official said.
He said the slain militants belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammad and their bodies have been recovered. Two of the slain militants were locals while another was a Pakistani militant, he said. An army official said the encounter started at 7 am and ended at around 6.30 pm.
He confirmed that two of the slain militants were locals and another was Pakistani national. Sources identified the two local militants as Parvez Ahmad and Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, both hailing from Pulwama district.
The clashes erupted in the Tral village during the gunbattle between local youth and security personnel. The cops fired tear smoke shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse the stone pelting youth. The clashes continued for some time.
Pak breaches ceasefire
Defence spokesman in Jammu Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said Pakistani army breached border ceasefire and resorted to unprovoked firing on Army posts along Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri sector at around 1.30 pm.
He said the Army men also retaliated and targeted Pakistani posts. “In the fire exchange, Lance Naik Mohammed Naseer was grievously injured. He succumbed to injuries while being shifted to hospital,” the spokesman said. Naseer, 35, belonged to village Ajout of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir and is survived by wife Wasim Akhtar.
“Lance Naik Naseer was a brave and sincere soldier. He loved his job to the core. The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” Mehta said.
Combing operations launched in north Kashmir
Following terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims, the Army has launched a massive operation in the rugged and mountainous terrains of north Kashmir to flush out around 100 foreign terrorists, said multi-agencies intelligence inputs.
Army sources claimed that all these terrorists belong to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) . “Aim is to deny them any comfort zone and freedom of movement by going hot on their pursuit. In view of the limited time, Army’s local commanders have now been free hand to intensify the “seek and destroy” missions with nearly one operation nearly every day as compared to two to three in a week in the past,” said an army official.