Kupwara gunbattle ends, 17 militants, 8 Army men killed

March 25th, 2009 - 1:56 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, Mar 25 (ANI): The five day long gunbattle between militants and security forces inside the Hafrada forest in Jammu and Kashmir’’s Kupwara district finally ended on Tuesday evening.
The encounter, which is continuing since March 20, has claimed the lives of seventeen militants and eight security personnel.
On Tuesday, six more militants were killed.
Four soldiers and five militants were killed on Monday while an ultra died a day before. On Saturday, four troops, including Major Mohit Sharma, and two militants were killed.
On the first day, three militants were shot down by the security forces.
Concerned over the raging gunbattle, Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday directed the army to deal with the situation with “utmost firmness”.
At a review meeting of the country’’s overall security situation, Antony expressed regret on the death of eight army men, including Major Sharma and pointed out that the recent incidents in the border state highlighted the nature of threat the country faced from terrorists.
The militants had sneaked into Kupwara as the dense forest range is close to the Line of Control (LoC).
On receiving information about militant infiltration in the forest area, the Army, assisted by local police had acted promptly and launched a gunbattle. (ANI)

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