Gunfight rages at Handwara
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, Aug 2: A fierce encounter between Army and militants started in Doodipora village of Handwara on Thursday evening. However, there are no reports of any casualty or injury so far.
The Army has suspended the operation due to darkness and will resume it tomorrow (Friday).
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) Sharifabad based Kilo Force, Major General Sarat Chand told Greater Kashmir that on specific information about presence of militants, a cordon and search operation was launched in Hajam Mohalla Doodipora Handwara.
“As we started searches, militants hiding in the house of Ajaz Ahmad Hajam opened fire on a joint party of Special Operation Group and soldiers of 21 Rashtriya Rifles,” he said.
The GOC said that during the exchange of fire, the house where the militants were hiding caught fire. “We threw grenades and hay around the house caught fire,” he said and added that fire extinguishers have been kept ready to control the fire.
He said that intermittent firing between soldiers and militants was going on. “We have kept the areas under tight cordon and operation has been suspended because of darkness. The operation would be resumed in the morning. We have evacuated all the people living adjacent to site of encounter to safer place,” he said.
“It is premature to say what is the actual number of militants. It will be confirmed in the morning,” he said.
Locals alleged that the SOG and RR soldiers fired mortar shells on the house where the militants were hiding.
Pertinently, Handwara area of Kupwara district this year witnessed series of encounters and in less than two weeks 10 militants were killed in two different gun battles in Zachaldara in March- April this year.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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