While foiling a fourth infiltration bid in row, the Army on Saturday killed a militant along the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district. With this the toll among the infiltrating militants in a series of clashes with the Army during past four days has risen to 13, whereas, one soldier was also martyred and two others were injured.
Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said, “One terrorist was killed by own troops in Gurez sector on Saturday. The weapon in his use has been seized. The operation is in progress.”
The Army said that the fire fight began when the troops guarding the de facto border observed movement of militants trying to sneak into the 2,580 m high Gurez valley, about 86 km from district headquarters Bandipora and 123 km north of Srinagar, from across and challenged them.
Earlier on Friday, the Army had claimed foiling an infiltration bid in Gwalta area of Uri sector of neighbouring Baramulla district after killing five militants. In the same area, two soldiers of 4 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) were injured when the militants opened fire at a patrolling party on Thursday.
The Army said that “multiple attempts” have been made by militants to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir from PoK through various sectors of the LoC including Macheal, Nowgam, Uri and Gurez in Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora districts during the past week. All these attempts were, however, foiled by “alert” troops.
The Army has alleged that the infiltrating militants were helped by the Pakistani troops by providing them active support including heavy calibre artillery covering fire. Islamabad has yet to react to it but has denied such charges in the past.
The defence spokesman said that during this year, so far, as many as two dozen infiltration attempts were foiled by the Army troops along the LoC during which 40 armed intruders were killed. “Relentless operations by security forces have defeated desperate attempts by Pakistan and its agents to spread terror in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramadan,” the spokesman had said in a statement issued from the Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur on Thursday.
Reiterating it on Saturday, the Udhampur-based defence spokesman Colonel N.N. Joshi said that Pakistan army’s “sinister designs” to push in multiple groups of armed intruders across the LoC continue to be defeated by proactive operations being carried out by the Indian Army along the de facto border. “Relentless operations mounted by troops have successfully intercepted groups of armed intruders all along the LoC in Gurez, Machael, Nowgam and Uri Sectors leading to elimination of 13 armed intruders in the past 96 hours. This includes groups of four and three armed intruders who were tracked and eliminated in the Machael and Nowgam sectors, respectively as reported on June 8. Since then, the operations in Uri and Gurez sectors have further progressed,” the spokesman said.
He added that five intruders were killed in Uri, so far, and one intruder in Gurez. “The explosives, inflammable material, arms and ammunition recovered from the armed intruders indicate Pakistan’s designs to orchestrate high profile terror incidents targeting innocent civilian population and security forces during the holy month of Ramadan,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the J&K police on Saturday said that one civilian identified as Aarif Ahmed Dar was injured when militants targeted two Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) vehicles with gunfire at Vesu along the Srinagar-Jammu highway at 5 am. The assailants, however, missed the intended target and instead the car being driven by the civilian behind the ITBP vehicles was hit in the gunfire. “About 20 empty cases of AK ammunition were found on the spot,” the police said.
Separately, the residents of Nadpora village in neighbouring Shopian district accused the Army of ransacking several houses and breaking windowpanes of these in reprisal to a stone-pelting incident. The locals said that some youth pelted stones on a patrol party of the Army moving on a road through Nadpora following which the troops detained one person identified as Ubaid nazir and also attacked the private properties.
By: Deccan Chronicle
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