Handwara Gunfight: Colonel, Others Killed While Saving Civilians, Says Army

Srinagar

Army on Sunday said that five forces personnel including a colonel and a major besides a police officer were killed after they “successfully extricated civilians held hostage by militants” in Chanjimullah Rajwar area of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Colonel Ashutosh Sharma killed in Handwara encounter.

“Based on the intelligence input that militants were taking the civilian inmates of a house in Changimul, Handwara of Kupwara district hostage, a joint operation was launched by Army and JK Police on May 2, 2020,” a Srinagar-based Army spokesman said.

“A team comprising of five Army and JK Police personnel entered the target area occupied by the militants to evacuate the civilians. The team of Army and JK Police entered the target area, and successfully extricated the civilians,” said the spokesman.

“However, during the process, the team was subjected to a heavy volume of fire by the militants. In the ensuing firefight, two militants were killed and the team of five forces  Personnel comprising of two Army officers, two Army soldiers and one JK Police Sub Inspector were also killed,” said the army spokesman.

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