Srinagar, Oct 10: Two Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed and as many soldiers injured in an overnight gunfight in south Kashmir Anantnag district, officials said on Monday.
“Yesterday evening, acting on specific information generated by police regarding the presence of (militants) in village Tangpawa area of Anantnag, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, Army (19RR) and CRPF (164 batallion) in the area,” a police spokesperson said in a statement.
During the search operation, he said, as the joint search party approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter.
In the ensuing encounter, he said, two local militants of LeT identified as Aasif Ahmad Reshi of Sheikhpora Marhama Bijbehara and Wakeel Ahmad Bhat of Naibasti Marhama were killed.
The spokesperson said that as per police records, both were categorized militants and involved in several cases including attacks on police and security forces.
Meanwhile, a defense ministry spokesperson based in Srinagar said that two soldiers were injured during the course of the operation. Also the army’s specially trained dog named ‘Zoom’ suffered injuries in the operation, he said in a statement.
“While the parties were approaching the target area, the (militants) sensing being exposed, attempted to break the cordon and opened indiscriminate automatic fire while lobbying grenades, resulting in injury to one brave soldier. Despite being injured, the soldier brought down accurate fire, thereby injuring a (militants),” he said, adding, “The (militants) took forceful refuge in a house of a local citizen.” He said army troops held the fire, sensing the danger to the lives of villagers in the area. Hoever, the spokesperson said the militants opened automatic fire while civilians were being evacuated. “An Army jawan sprung into action to save the precious lives, in turn getting hit by the volley of fire. Nevertheless he with his team managed to ensure complete safety of civilians,” he said.
“Continuous surveillance of the target house, readjustment of cordon and intermittent exchange of fire throughout the night confirmed the presence of two (militants) in the house,” he said, adding, “During the period, it was spotted by own technical assets that one of the (militants) was injured. At that time, a brave fighter “Zoom”, an Army assault canine was sent into the target house to retrieve the weapon from (militants) and pull them out of hiding.” He said Zoom approached the target “stealthily and pounced” upon the militant. “Zoom was fired upon by the (militants) in hiding, thereby injuring him seriously.…Valiant Zoom is presently battling for his life at a Military Veterinary Hospital.”
The spokesperson said that two AK series weapons and one pistol were recovered from the spot.