SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, July 6: The encounter in Bawan Rajwar, Handwara, ended Friday afternoon leaving a militant dead and four security personnel including a policeman injured. Nine structures were damaged including four houses during the exchange of fire that started Thursday.
According to sources, the encounter started late Thursday afternoon after a joint party of Special Operations Group (SOG) and 21 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) cordoned off the house of Saba Begum wife of late Ghulam Muhammad Mir in Bawan village located in the foothills of Rajwar forests.
Sources said as the joint search party entered the house, they came under heavy fire from hiding militants. The fire was retaliated triggering a fierce encounter that continued for more than 24 hours. In initial firing on Thursday a soldier and an SOG man were injured. Later two more soldiers of 21 RR were injured taking the toll of injured to four.
During the exchange of fire, sources said that the house caught fire and the blaze spread. The body of an unidentified militant along with an AK assault rifle was recovered Friday afternoon by SOG and 21 RR.
The fire also damaged three other houses and five structures. The residential houses belong to Muhammad Ramzan, Muhammad Amin Bhat and Ghulam Muhammad Bhat.
A report said that SOG and Army resorted to intense shelling on the house during the night where the militant had taken shelter and the adjacent houses were also damaged during the shelling.
A team of Revenue department from Kupwara Friday evening visited Bawan and distributed blankets, ration and money among the fire victims.
Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ministry of Defence, said, “Contact was established with the militants last night and in the ensuing encounter one unidentified militant, likely to be a foreigner, has been killed. The identity of the slain militant is being ascertained. Two houses from where the militants were firing have suffered damage. In the last one week, five likely foreign militants have been killed in the area.”
During the past 48 hours, four unidentified militants have been killed in two different encounters in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Publish Date: 7-07-12 9:33 AM
SHABIR IBN YUSUF