SRINAGAR:Three militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Lolab forest area of border district of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. Another encounter started in the border district in the evening.
An army official said acting on intelligence inputs, army and police men launched a joint combing and search operation in Dobwan forest area in Khurhama, Lolab in Kupwara district early this morning to flush out the militants hiding there.
“While the security men were busy in combing operation, militants hiding in the woods fired from automatic weapons towards them. The security men took defensive positions and returned the fire,” he said.
The official said both sides exchanged heavy gunfire for over five hours.
“In the ensuing gunfight, three militants were killed,” he said adding the combing operation in the area is going on.
The official said bodies of three militants have been recovered. “We have also recovered three AK-47-rifles and some ammunition from the encounter site”.
He said identity of the slain militants and the outfit to which they owe allegiance was being ascertained.
Sources, however, could not confirm whether the operation was launched by security forces on the tip-off provided by the arrested Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Abu Ukasah alias Hanzullah.
The LeT militant was arrested by police from Sogam market in Kupwara district on Monday evening.
He had told the interrogators that he was part of a five member militant group, who were hiding in the forests in Sogam and adjoining areas.
Meanwhile, another encounter broke out between militants and security forces in Dragmulla area of border district of Kupwara this evening.
“The exchange of fire between the militants and security forces was going on when reports last poured in,” an army official said.
In a related development, militants lobbed a hand grenade towards a vehicle of police officer (SDPO Sopore Ashish Mishra) at Amargarh Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district this forenoon.
The grenade, however, missed the intended target and exploded on the road. No damage was caused in the explosion.
Immediately after the grenade attack, police and CRPF men laid siege around the area to arrest the attackers. However, no arrests were reported.