Inside Kashmir

CASO intensifies in Bandipora; 2 foreigners among 3 militants killed so far

Srinagar: Two foreigners were among three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants killed in an encounter with security forces in the woods in north Kashmir district of Bandipora, where the area of the Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) has been widened following inputs about presence of more ultras.

Meanwhile, official sources said that besides two foreign militants, a local, identified as Shariq Ahmad Baba — who had entered Pakistan via Wagah border in Punjab in 2018 and recently infiltrated through the Line of Control (LoC) — was killed in the exchange of fire.

They said with the first light on Sunday security forces resumed massive CASO in Bandipora woods. “The entire forest area remained under tight cordon and searchlights were installed to foil any attempt by remaining militants to escape,” they said, adding no fresh contact has been established with militants since last night.

They said the area of CASO has been widened and more troops have been rushed in as there are inputs about the presence of more militants in the thick forest.

Giving details about the encounter, they said troops of 13 and 14 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police, and CRPF launched a joint CASO in Shokbaba forest Sumblar in Bandipora early Saturday morning following specific information about the presence of militants. “When security forces were moving into the forest area, militants hiding there opened indiscriminate firing with automatic weapons,” they said.

They said the security forces retaliated ensuing in an encounter. “Three militants were killed in the encounter while a trooper was injured in the exchange of fire. The injured was rushed to Army’s 92 base hospital in Srinagar, where his health condition is stated to be stable,” they added.

They said the bodies of all the three militants have been recovered.

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