Militants escape yet again, search operation continues in Kashmir woods

A massive search operation by security forces continued in the woods in the frontier district of Kupwara where militants again gave slip to police after a brief encounter on November 27.
So far, a Colonel was killed and a Lt Col and five security personnel were injured in the encounter during the operation which started on November 17 in the woods in Manigah woods in north Kashmir jointly by Rashitriya Rifles (RR) and Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police. Later, Para Commandos also joined the operation.
There was a brief encounter on November 27 when militants opened fire on a joint search party, official source said.
The residents of several localities, particularly from Gujjar Dhokas, have already been shifted to safer places. However, militants again escaped in the dense forest, they said.
A senior Army officer said that the operation against the militants hiding in the woods was getting delayed to avoid any civilian casualties.
“Since our most operations are based on information provided by locals, we donot want that any harm should be caused to them,” he had said.
Source said two to three militants have taken shelter in Gujjar dokhas in the woods.
However, the RR, Para Commandos and SOG continued search operation against militants hiding in the dense woods spread over about 30 km.
It is being said that a group of five to six militants had entered from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) into the Kashmir valley in the last week of last month.
Body of a militant, who died due to cold, was recovered in the first week of this month in the woods while another militant was killed in the encounter on November 23.

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