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2 militants, 5 SF personnel killed in 48-hour-long Handwara encounter
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2 militants, 5 SF personnel killed in 48-hour-long Handwara encounter

Srinagar, Mar 3 : Two militants and five security force personnel, including a CRPF Inspector, were killed and five other jawans injured in over 48-hour-long encounter, which ended on Sunday, at Handwara in frontier Kashmir district of Kupwara.

A civilian was also killed on Friday in security force action on demonstrators, who were trying to disrupt the operations against the trapped militants. Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that two militants were killed in the gunfight and huge cache of arms and ammunition has been recovered from the encounter site.

Earlier in the day, a CRPF jawan, who was injured in exchange of fire between militants and security forces on Friday, succumbed, taking the told number of security force personnel killed in the encounter to five.

Official sources said that security forces resumed operations with the first light on Sunday against militants at Baba Gund area in Kralgund Handwara in Kupwara district.

They said based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Baba Gund area of Kralgund in Handwara, a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) was launched jointly by Police and security forces in the area late on Thursday night.

As the searches were going on, the hidden militants fired indiscriminately on the search party on Friday morning. Security forces also retaliated and the exchange continued for several hours before it was presumed that all the militants were killed.

However, they said when security forces entered the house to recover the bodies, the militants resorted to indiscriminate firing with automatic weapons in which about ten security personnel were critically injured on Friday.

Later, two police personnel identified as Selection Grade Constable (SgCt) Naseer Ahmad Kholi and SgCt Ghulam Mustafa Barah and two CRPF personnel identified as Inspector Pintu and Constable Vinod succumbed.

A civilian identified as Waseem Ahmad Mir, who also sustained bullet injury, succumbed at the hospital. They said three houses in which the militants were hiding, where on Sunday blasted. “Bodies of both the militants have been recovered,” they said, adding operation posed considerable difficulties to the forces due to the topography of the area.

They said citizens are requested not to venture inside encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitised and cleared of all the explosive materials if any. (UNI)