2 soldiers,1 militant killed in Baramulla encounter; toll 8

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The 36-hour long encounter in the Kreeri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district came to an end on Tuesday with the killing of two army soldiers and a militant.

The number of militants killed in the encounter has gone to up to three while five security forces personnel were killed. The slain security forces men include two army soldiers, two CRPF personnel and a policeman.

Police identified the third slain militant as Usman from Pakistan.

An army spokesperson today said that three militants had been killed in the operation while two more soldiers, in addition to three security personnel slain yesterday, had been killed.

“Two soldiers who were earlier critically injured have succumbed. One more militant was killed on Tuesday. One AK 47 rifle and three pistols have been recovered from the encounter site,” he said.

The Inspector General of Police, Vijay Kumar, said that militant commander Usman was among the top commanders of LeT and with the death of both Sajad alias Hyder and Usman in the Kreeri operation, the LeT has suffered a huge jolt.

“Two top commanders of the LeT outfit have been eliminated in the Kreeri operation. The terrain and the topography of the area delayed in concluding the operation fast. The security forces lost five jawans in the operation,” he said. “Drones were also used in the operation, however, since the area was dense, dotted with trees, the drones could not yield the desired result.”

The security forces resumed the operation early morning on Tuesday after halting the operation for night.

A top police official said that the hiding militant fired Monday evening at around 7 pm. However, after that there was complete silence till 1.30 am on Tuesday.

“It was around 1.30 am on Tuesday that the hiding militant again started firing in the direction of security forces. The militant was continuously changing his position in the dense forest and orchard field. The militant was finally killed in an assault when he appeared in the open,” he said.

The Kreeri operation has turned out as one of the major encounters in north Kashmir in recent times.

The militants on Monday morning attacked a joint party of CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police in Suchpora Kreeri.  The attack left two CRPF personnel and a cop dead. Soon after the attack, additional security forces were rushed to the spot to trace the militants.