Four militants and two army jawans were killed and four including an army major were injured in an ongoing fierce gun battle at Chowkibal forest area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district that started last evening.
However, army says that one army jawan was killed and two others were injured in the gun battle so far. Sources say that army has seen four dead bodies of militants but the debris of the house is yet to be cleared to retrieve the bodies.
Army’s 41 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), 16 Grenadiers and 19 Maratha Regiment along the Jammu and Kashmir Police cordoned off the Zonreshi, Marsari villages close to forests in Chowkibal area yesterday following the inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.
As the troops started cordon-and-search operation, militants hiding in a house fired on troops leading to a gun battle in which one army jawan of 41 RR sustained bullet injuries. He was evacuated to Panzgam for treatment. The fire was retaliated triggering an encounter.
Sources said that army got information about presence of a group of six militants hiding in the forest area. They launched the operation yesterday but the contact with the group was established this evening. It is, however, not known that how many militants are hiding inside the cordoned area.
The militant group is believed to have infiltrated into these forests in around 2-3 months back and they were trying to take refuge in the residential areas due to snowfall in the forests. However, another source said that there is possibility that the group may have infiltrated recently and was trying to cross over to Hafruda forests when they were cited.