Three Army soldiers, two SOG men among 9 killed in Kupwara

One trooper missing, army press drones, rushes reinforcements

Srinagar, March 21 (GNS): Three army soldiers and two Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel were killed in an ongoing encounter with militants at Check Fatehkhan, Halmatpora area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

So far four militants have been killed in the gunfight while one soldier is also missing, official sources told news agency GNS.

The deceased have been identified as Havaldar Zorawar of 3 JAK Rifles who was attached with 160 Territorial Army (TA), Mohammad Ashraf Rather of same TA battalion, Naik Ranjeet Khalho of 5 Bihar while two SOG men as Mohammad Yousuf Cheche (SPO) of Kachama, Kupwara and Deepak Pandit of Nagrota, Jammu.

Also, four government forces personnel including Sub Inspector (SI) Harvinder Singh, Javaid Ahmad of SOG, one army soldier and a CRPF trooper were injured.

While the firefight was intermittently going on throughout the night, it intensified since morning and was going on when this report was filed.

The army has recovered four militant bodies from the encounter site. While three militant bodies were found early Wednesday morning, the other was retrieved later, they said.

Sources said that one soldier Rifleman Abdul Majeed Bajad of 160 is missing and it could not be immediately known whether he is dead or there is some other reason for it.

“The soldier is missing and his fate is not known,” a police source said.

The army has also pressed drones to track the militants. The army also rushed reinforcement of 5 Bihar and 4 para commandos today in the morning and has also cordoned off areas in the peripheries of the Halmatpora.

Sources said that firing has stopped at around 6:30 pm and when this report was filed, there was the lull as per a senior army officer.

Director General of Police DGP also confirmed the killing of four militants and three government forces personnel so far in the encounter.

“4th dead body of (militant) recovered from encounter site of Kupwara, firing still continues, unfortunately, 2 brave hearts of J&K Police martyred & one of TA,” the DGP said In a tweet.

The encounter started when a group of militants believed to be seven in number fired upon a joint team of army and SOG at Check Fatehkhan forests on Tuesday afternoon. (GNS)

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