Massive Hunt Continues Amid Uri, Hafrada, Machil Operations

KL Report

Srinagar

Massive search operation in most parts of the North Kashmir forests continued for third day Wednesday following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants while as fresh clashes erupted between militants and troopers of 3 DOGRA in Churunda sector of Uri in Baramulla. The operation in the Machil Sector in Kupwara district is also on.

Sources told a Srinagar based news gathering agency GNS that army on Monday launched searches in Hafrada forests, Shamswari, Badnimal, Hagnikoot, Baliyan Behak, Waderballa, Rajwar and its adjoining areas in frontier district of Kupwara to track down a group of militants that apparently crossed over to this side in recent past.

They said that a fresh militant group might have entered through Tanghdar or Keran Sector, as in recent past there was a surge in infiltration attempts. “Helicopters were used in these forest areas several times since yesterday to eocate the militant group,” a senior Army officer told GNS on phone.

6 RR assisted with additional deployment in the area and Special Operation Group (SOG) of JK Police are carrying out the massive searches of the dense forests.

During last week, soldiers near the LoC in Keran had noticed a group of militants sneaking into this side. “When they were challenged in Keran on this side, the militants had opened fire which was retaliated triggering an encounter. However, after a brief gunfight an unidentified militant was killed and others managed to escape.”

The sources said that at least four to six militants have succeeded in sneaking into this side. “Both the sides exchanged the fire twice.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Army’s 6 RR along with reinforcement intensified their combing operation in Hafrada forests. “A fresh gun battle rages in the area between hiding militants and troops resulting in injuries to three troopers of 6 RR who were immediately taken to 92 base hospital via helicopter here in Srinagar,” a senior defense army official while talking to GNS said.

In Machil sector, the operation continued on second day. Sources said that a group of 5-6 militants managed to sneak in to this side about 2.5 Kilometers at Boriwallan Nad near Jalender post. “The group later intercepted by the troops got involved in a day long gunfight in which four intruders were killed till late Tuesday evening,” sources said, adding the operation in the area is still going on to nab the other two militants which either moved back or might have managed to sneak in to this side.

The sources also told GNS that a fresh encounter broke out between militants and troops of 3 DOGRA in Churanda area of Uri Sector in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Meanwhile, Army’s Srinagar based spokesman said that searches are continuing in the areas following the inputs about the presence of militants.  “We are not in a position to say whether this is a fresh militant group or the old one. Further information is awaited,” the spokesman added. (GNS)

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