Nine militants killed in different encounters in J&K

Nine militants killed in different encounters in J&K Srinagar: Nine militants were on Saturday killed in separate gunbattles with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, including five ultras who were attempting to infiltrate from across the LoC in Kupwara sector.

The infiltration bid was scuttled in Keran sector, 140 km from here, defence spokesman Lt Col J S Brar told a news agency.

He said troops deployed on the Line of Control observed movement of militants from across. As the group tried to cross the border, they were challenged and fired at by soldiers.

Five militants were killed on the spot. A large quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from them, he said.

Today's incident raised the number of infiltrators gunned down in the sector in four days to eight, the spokesman said.

The Army scuttled the first infiltration bid from across the border on March 24 when they shot dead two infiltrators in the same sector. Another militant was killed in the same sector yesterday.

In separate incidents, four Lashker-e-Toiba militants were killed in fierce shoot-outs with the security forces in Rajouri and Kishtwar districts.

In an operation by the police and army in Baji Mahal forest in Dharamsal, about 146 km from here, two LeT militants, part of a group of seven to eight ultras, were killed. Two AK rifles and some ammunition were seized by the forces.

The gunbattle was still continuing when last reports came in from the area.

Another encounter took place between security forces and militants in Dool area of Kishtwar district this morning in which two LeT militants were killed, officials said.

The militants were identified as Nisar and Rehmatullah, they said and added an AK rifle, one pistol, ammunition and explosives were recovered.

The infiltration bid and encounters come in the backdrop of Army chief General Deepak Kapoor telling reporters in the national capital yesterday that "Infiltration has increased in Jammu and Kashmir this winter in comparison to last winter. But we are fully capable of handling the situation."

Intelligence reports have also suggested that a large number of militants were waiting in the wings near the LoC to cross over to this side to step up violence in the state.

Usually, infiltration attempts pick up in late April but early melting of snow this season due to rising temperatures encouraged the leadership to push militants early, official sources said.

Official sources said that the two militants killed in the Dharamsal operation could be Pakistanis.

Also among the recoveries from the site of the encounter were two AK rifles, one chinese pistol, six AK magazines, three pistol magazines, 217 AK rounds, 90 pistol rounds, two Icom sets, two Nokia mobile sets with Pakistani SIM cards, portable Thuriya solar charger and a Garmin GPS.

Four grenades, one Thuriya set, two matrix sheets, two GB MP player (made in Pakistan), perfume, eatables, mosquito repellents, sweaters, socks, toffees, shawl, combat jackets and haversacks (all made in Pakistan) were also recovered, they said.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda complimented his force for the successful operations and asked the police and security forces to maintain pressure on the militants.

DGP also complimented security forces for foiling an infiltration bid and killing five militants in Kupwara sector of Kashmir.