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2 Militants Killed in Encounters as Rajouri Gunfight Continues

Anees Zargar |
One militant was shot dead as security forces targeted the attackers who had killed five Para Commandos in an IED blast in Rajouri’s Kandi forest.
kashmir encounter

Security personnel during an encounter with terrorists in Kunzar area of Baramulla district, Saturday, May 6, 2023. Security forces killed one Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist during the encounter. (PTI Photo)

Srinagar: Two militants were killed in encounters with security forces in Rajouri and Baramulla districts, respectively, on Saturday.

According to a Jammu-based defence spokesperson, firing continued inside Rajouri’s Kandi forest, where five elite 9 Para SF members under Operation Trinetra trying to flush out the militants who killed five Army personnel by ambushing their truck in Poonch on April 20 were killed in an IED blast on Friday morning.   

According to officials, the operation resumed around 1:15 am on Saturday as the militants attempted to flee the security cordon. A militant was killed and another injured after the firing resumed early morning. 

The Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police and CRPF are conducting the joint operation in the border district. Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, Commander of the Northern Command, also reached the spot to review the situation.

“Recoveries made so far include 1 AK56, 4 Mags of AK, 56 rounds of AK, 1 x 9mm Pistol with Mag, 3 grenades & 1 ammunition Pouch. Identity of the neutralised terrorist is being ascertained. Op Trinetra continues,” the White Knight Corps tweeted.

Though the killed militant’s identity is yet to be ascertained, the attack was claimed by the People’s Anti-Fascist Front, believed to be a Jaish-e-Mohammed offshoot (JeM). 

In the second incident, the J&K Police claimed to have killed a militant during an encounter in Baramulla on Saturday morning. The militant was identified as Abid Wani, a resident of Yarhol Babapora village, Kulgam district, and was believed to be affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). 

Five militants have been killed in three separate encounters in the border districts of north Kashmir in the last four days. 

Lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha attended the wreath-laying ceremony for the commandos, identified as Lance Naik Ruchin Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand), Paratrooper Siddhant Chettri (West Bengal), Havildar Neelam Singh (Jammu), and Naik Arvind Kumar and Paratrooper Pramod Negi (both from Himachal Pradesh).

“Paid my tributes to the soldiers martyred in ongoing operations against terrorists in Rajouri. The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of the brave martyrs,” the LG’s Office tweeted.

General Dwivedi too paid homage to the five commandos.

As the gunfight continued, defence minister Rajnath Singh, accompanied by Army Chief General Manoj Pande, flew to Jammu to take stock of the situation and was scheduled to visit the Army base camp in Rajouri. 

Friday’s attack is the second recent major attack in Jammu’s Pir Panjal area, where five soldiers were killed on April 20. The fresh escalation of violence has renewed concerns about the region’s security, especially ahead of the G20 event being hosted in the Valley later this month.

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