WOMAN KILLED IN HANDWARA ‘ENCOUNTER’
Kupwara, Aug 22: A 40-year-old woman was killed and another civilian injured in “crossfire” between militants and Army in the Rajwar area of this frontier district Monday.
Police said an Army unit of 6 Rashtriya Rifles after receiving inputs about militant movement in the area laid siege and cordoned off the Padlu Behak in upper reaches of Rajwar forests.
“We had information about presence of seven to eight militants in Hafruda forest area and launched an operation to track them down,” Defence Spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar told reporters here today.
As the army patrol party advanced towards a Gujjar Dhoka (temporary shift shack), militants hiding inside opened the fire, which was retaliated, triggering in an encounter, police said.
In the ensuing encounter, police said, Saleema Begum wife of Abdul Rashid received bullet injuries. She was evacuated to district hospital Handwara, wherefrom she was
shifted to SKIMS, Srinagar in a critical condition, where she later succumbed.
Another civilian who got injured in the ‘gunfight’ has been identified as Abdul Rashid and has been admitted in Handwara hospital where his condition is said to be stable.
Both the civilians were residents of Dardhaji village of Handwara and belong to nomadic Gujjar families.
Gujjars and Bakerwals seasonally migrate to Dhokas in the higher reaches to rear their cattle.
Police said that militants escaped from the spot taking advantage of thick forests.
The search operation was still on in the area, when the reports last came in.
Meanwhile, Saleema mother of 4 daughters and a son was buried in Satkoji.
The operation comes close on the heels of the army foiling a major ‘infiltration’ bid by militants in Gurez sector of Bandipora district on Saturday and killing 12 ultras.
(WITH INPUTS FROM PTI)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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