SRINAGAR: Four persons including two militants and two army men were killed, while four troopers are injured in an ongoing encounter in Hajin area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir.
The gun battle started in the wee hours of Wednesday in Rakh-e-Hajin village of the area, where Special Operation Group of J&K police and Army were conducting a cordon and search operation.
Srinagar based defense spokesperson also confirmed the killing of two militants and two Air Force Guards during the gun battle.
“In an intense operation in Hajin, Bandipora two terrorists were killed, Two Air Force Guards personnel were martyred in the action. The guard personnel were operating with the army for operational experience and training. The Chinar Core Commander and all ranks salute the martyrs and offer condolence to bereaved families,” read the statement from Srinagar defense spokesperson.
According to police sources, six government troopers were injured during the initial firefight and two of them were declared as brought dead at Army’s base hospital.
According to police around 25 militants were active in Bandipora district and a group of seven militants led by Mehmood Bhai of Lashkar-e-Toiba is active in Hajin area. Two local militants are also part of this group. Two other militants, Abu Muslim, Ali Bhai and Osama, who police claims is relative of top LeT commander Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi is also active in Sumbal-Hajin belt.
The government forces would conduct regular cordon and search operations in the Hajin for a few months now but were expecting to manage contact with the militants as the autumn set in. Police expected militants to start moving from harvested orchards and paddy fields to residential areas for hiding.
J&K police chief S P Vaid has stated that around 85 militants were active in north Kashmir and majority of them are foreigners. In 2017 till now, the government forces have killed around 170 militants in Kashmir.