SRINAGAR: Six militants and an army man were killed and two soldiers injured in two gunfights in twin districts of Kupwara and Baramulla in North Kashmir on Friday.
Defence spokesman in Srinagar said four heavily armed militants were killed in two-day long gunfight with security forces along Line of Control (LoC) in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district.
“An army man identified as Havaldar Hangpan Dada was also killed in the fierce gunfight,” he said.
He said three militants were killed in the gunfight yesterday while another died today.
“The four militants had attempted to sneak into this side of LoC early morning yesterday but were detected and challenged by alert army men deployed there,” the spokesman said.
He said counter infiltration grid was reinforced while the militants were kept under constant surveillance till they could be effectively engaged. “Braving all odds of extremely harsh weather and difficult terrain, Army men killed all the four militants and foiled the infiltration bid. “
An army official said bodies of four slain militants have been recovered. “We have also recovered four AK-47 rifles and other ammunition from the encounter site”.
He said the combing operation in the area is going on.
Asked whether slain militants have been identified, the official said, “We are trying to ascertain their identity and the outfit to which they owe allegiance. It will take some time to identity them and their outfit”.
He, however, said through their appearance, they seem to be foreigners.
The official said deceased army man Havaldar Hangpan Dada was 36-years-old and hailed from Boduria village in Arunachal Pradesh.
He said Dada, who led his team and brought effective fire on the militants, got profusely injured while fighting with indomitable courage during the gunfight.
“He personnel ensured killing of three militants before being injured. While being evacuated to base hospital, the soldier succumbed to his injuries and made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty,” the official said.
He said the deceased soldier, who served the army for 19 years, is survived by wife, daughter and six-year-old son.
Meanwhile, a gunfight also broke out between militants and security forces in Tangmarg area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district early this morning.
A police spokesman said on a specific information about presence of militants, police, paramilitary and army men launched a joint combing operation in village Khonchipora Tangmarg, about 35 kms from Srinagar, and launched search operation.
“During the operation, security men zeroed-in on a residential house and asked two militants hiding inside to surrender. However, they turned down the offer and fired towards the search party. The fire was returned by the troops, triggering an encounter,” he said.
Sources said as the encounter prolonged, security forces fired mortar shells towards the house damaging it completely.
“Bodies of two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were later recovered from the debris,” they said.
They said two army men were also injured in the gunfight.
Police identified the deceased militants as Mehraj Ahmad Bhat and Aadil Ahmad, both locals.
“Both were wanted in many militant acts,” the police spokesman said.
He said 2 AK series rifles and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.
An army official said Mehraj was BSc BEd and had joined Hizb in 2014.
Of late Valley has witnessed many encounters between militants and security forces.
Early on May 23, three policemen were killed in a militant attack in Srinagar while two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants including a top commander were killed in a gunfight with security forces on the same day.