Forces step up hunt as Anantnag operation continues

Srinagar: Sporadic gunfire and blasts rocked south Kashmir’s Anantnag district as the operation to trace the two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants who were behind the killing of three Army and police officers continued for the third day on Friday.

Officials said the operation at Garol in Kokarnag forest area of Anantnag started at first light on Friday and security forces were using the latest technologies including UAVs and quadcopters to search the area and pin point location of militants there

Elite Special Forces have also joined the operation against the hiding militants. During the operation, choppers have also been pressed into service.

Since Friday morning, forces have been firing towards the suspected places where they believe the militants could be hiding.

Sound of massive blasts could be heard during the entire day in the area, locals said

After three days of operation, there is so far no report of any militant casualty.

The operation was suspended on Thursday evening in the area, officials said.

J&K Police on Thursday morning said that it had “encircled” two LeT militants, including a local terrorist identified as Uzair Khan, who were behind the killing. Khan is believed to have joined militant ranks last year.
Two decorated Army officers Colonel Manpreet Singh, Commanding Officer of 19 Rashtriya Rifles, his company commander Major Aashish Dhonchak- also from the 19 RR, and Deputy Superintendent of Police Himayun Muzamil Bhat, were killed and two other soldiers were injured in a gun battle in the area on Wednesday.

Army had said the search columns to the higher reaches were being led from the front by Col Manpreet, and Maj Aashish and the columns moved through re-entrants and rugged terrain which had dense foliage and undergrowth.


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