Army man killed in Handwara gunfight Militants escape after brief shootout in B’pora

An army man was killed in a brief gunfight with militants at Kachloo village in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday.

Sources said army’s 32 RR and Special Operations Group (SOG) of police launched a cordon and search operation at Kachloo, Qaziabad following information about presence of militants in the area.
“While forces were conducting searches, militants fired on the search party. The fire was returned by the troops, triggering a gunfight,” they said.

In the ensuing brief gunfight, an army man sustained critical injuries. He was evacuated to Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar, where he succumbed to injuries.
The slain army man was identified as Rifleman Ram Babu Sahi of Village Jagatpur of Chitwan District, Nepal. He is survived by wife and a daughter.

Sources said militants, believed to be two to three, managed to escape from the forces cordon purportedly under the cover of darkness and thick vegetation in the village.
A police officer said the siege was lifted from the village at around 11 am after militants were not located.
The Kachloo village is close to Drusoo village in Rafiabad, where two militants Riyaz Ahmed Dar of Naseer Abad Chinkipora Sopore, Khursheed Ahmed Malik of Aarihal Pulwama and an army man were killed in a gunfight on August 3.
Meanwhile, army, police, and CRPF men launched around 4 am after receiving the inputs about presence of 3-4 militants in a house at Mir Mohalla Hajin, police sources said.
They said as troops were conducting searches, militants fired on them.
After the exchange of fire, locals took to roads and pelted stones on forces. In retaliation, forces fired tear smoke shells to disperse the stone-pelting youth.
Sources said after the brief gunfire and ensuing clashes, militants managed to escape from the area.
They said the troops later lifted siege at around 1 pm.
SSP Bandipora, Zulfikar Azad said two militants sustained injuries during the shootout.
javid@risingkashmir.com