4 forces personnel, 3 militants killed in ongoing Halmatpora gunfight

Saturday, 24 Mar, 2018

Five security personnel were killed and four others were injured in the encounter which broke out in Halmatpora area, at least 8 kms from the LoC, on Tuesday.

The slain policemen were identified as Deepak Pandit and Mohd Yusuf while one among the two slain Army troopers was identified as Mohammad Ashraf.

"The identity of militants can not be ascertained as of now and things will be more clear tomorrow", said a police official. In a tweet, the top police officer of the JK said that three militants have been killed so far. Among the killed were two men of the Special Operation Group (SOG) of the J&K Police.

The gunfight broke out inside Halmatpora forest area of frontier Kupwara district, about 110 km northwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. While three militant bodies were found early Wednesday morning, the other was retrieved later, they said.

The terrorists had met their "reception party" (overground workers and militants already present in the Kashmir Valley) after crossing the LoC and were proceeding towards Kupwara town when they were spotted by police personnel, officials said.

"Our troops acted swiftly, and contact was established around 3.30pm", said an army officer, asking not be identified.

He said a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the encounter site. "Security forces also retaliated ensuing in an encounter", they said.

"It is pertinent to mention here that the encounter is in progress in the dense forests area. Owing to the thick vegetation and low visibility, the security forces are mopping the area with due caution", he added. The forest area was cordoned off by joint contingents of Army and Jammu and Kashmir police.

The IGP said five militants killed in the encounter were foreigners.

"The militants might have recently infiltrated from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), but were neutralised before they could reach to the hinterland".