SRINAGAR: Two suspected foreign militants, believed to be involved in Punzgam suicide attack, were killed in a brief gunbattle at Waripora village, around 3 kilometres west of Handwara town of Kupwara district, on Sunday.
The identity of the slain militants has not been ascertained yet. However, defence sources said the militants belonged to Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) militant outfit.
Sources said after receiving specific information about the presence of militants, a joint party of army’s 21 RR and SOG Handwara cordoned off the forest area of Waripora village situated in the outskirts of Handwara town.
They said the forces had specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
They added that all the entry and exit routes were plugged to prevent escape of the holed up militants.
While the forces intensified the cordon and search operation, the hiding militants opened fire triggering the gunfight in which the two militants were killed.
Later in a press briefing, Commanding Officer (CO) 21 RR, Kuldeep Singh said they have found evidence from one of the slain militants indicative of their involvement in Panzgam suicide attack.
Kuldeep said army received information about the presence of militants and in a swift action along with SOG of J&K police launched an operation to track the militants in the forest.
“We have found some evidences from one of the terrorists which is indicative of their involvement in Panzgam suicide attack,” the CO said.
Pertinently two suspected Jaish-e- Mohammed militants and three soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were killed in a pre-dawn suicide attack on an artillery brigade of army at Panzgam Kupwara, around 90 km northwest of summer capital Srinagar.
He said during the search operation they observed suspicious movement of two individuals and added that on being challenged the militants fired indiscriminately on the joint team of army and SOG.
The CO said that both the militants got killed in the retaliatory fire which continued for 10 to 15 minutes.
Two weapons have been recovered from the encounter site, he added.__Rising Kashmir