Srinagar: A nearly 48-hour gun battle in the dense Kupwara forest in north Kashmir ended on Wednesday night, with five security personnel, including three Army jawans and two policemen, dead and an equal number of militants killed, the police said. Giving details of the incident, a police spokesman said that the encounter broke out in the Halmatpora area, at least 8 km from the Line of Control (LoC), after a police party intercepted a group of militants.
The encounter has brought to light gaps in the Army’s vigil along the LoC as the group of militants had managed to sneak in nearly 8 km after crossing two ridges of the Shamsa-bari mountain range. The militants had met their “reception party” (overground workers and militants already present in the Valley) after crossing the LoC and were proceeding towards Kupwara town when they were spotted by police personnel, officials said.
The militants, who were hiding inside a mosque, started running towards the forest, but not before four of them were killed by the security forces. The fifth militant, who hid himself at a height and was firing on the approaching security forces, was killed on Wednesday evening, they said. The police spokesman also said that in the encounter, five militants were neutralised and added that all are believed to be foreign terrorists and part of a group that had freshly infiltrated the LoC.