Searches continue in north Kashmir woods

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Security forces have intensified searches in the woods in the frontier district of Kupwara, where two militants are still at large.

However, so far no contact was established with the hiding militants in the dense forest, official source said.      They said that a massive joint search operation by Army and Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police continued in the woods in the Kupwara, where so far two militants and a Colonel were killed and six security personnel, including a senior officer, injured since November 17.

A militant died due to cold about a fortnight ago while another was gunned down on November 23 while a Colonel also made supreme sacrifice and a Lt Col was injured. Five other soldiers were also injured in the shootout during the operation which was launched on November 17, when first contact was established with the militants in Manigah woods in north Kashmir district of  Kupwara.

Two militants are reportedly still hiding in the dense woods, they said adding search operation was gong on. However, asenior Army officer said operation against militants was getting delayed to avoid any civilian causality.           Search operation was resumed this morning with the first light after a night halt since it was very dark, official sources said.

They said besides troops from Rashitriya Rifles (RR) and Para Commandos, personnel from the Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police resumed the search operation in the dense forest facing all odds, including difficult terrain and extremely bad weather.

Security forces are searching about 30 km forest area, they said, adding that entire area has been sealed to foil any militant attempt to escape or fled back to PoK.

Source said four militants had infiltrated from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) reportedly on october 31st into this side. However, body of one of the militant was recovered who had died due to cold.

Another militant was killed on November 23 while search for remaining two was going on, they said.

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