Army to search for infilitrators in border areas(Lead)

May 12th, 2008 - 7:10 pm ICT by admin  

Samba (Jammu and Kashmir), May 12 (IANS) The Indian Army plans a massive operation to weed out any infiltrators from the areas along the India-Pakistan border after militants made a fresh attack in Samba in Jammu and Kashmir Monday, a day after a gun battle between forces and militants left six killed. Troops Monday killed a militant, who was believed to be part of the same group that had managed to sneak into the Indian side last Thursday and killed six people, including two soldiers and a photojournalist in the gun battle Sunday.

Lt. Col. S.D. Goswami, defence spokesperson based in Jammu, told IANS the body of the militant was recovered and a large quantity of arms and ammunition was seized from the spot.

An unknown number of militants fired at the outer sentry post of the cantonment in Samba, about 45 km from Jammu. “The militants were hiding in thick bushes around the area. The sentry returned fire, after which there was a lull. The body of one militant has been recovered,” he said.

“Search operations are continuing. Soldiers are trying to find whether the militant had any accomplices with him,” he said.

The spokesman said the troops were on full alert.

The next step, according to army sources, is to conduct mopping-up operations along the entire border belt in the Samba sector to find out if there were more infiltrators than the three already killed in the two operations.

“The idea is to look for the tell-tale signs of the movement of the militants in the area,” a senior army officer said, requesting anonymity.

“A fresh alert has been sounded for the troops guarding the LoC (Line of Control) as militants might attempt to cross over from other areas as well,” he said.

The Northern Command of the army that guards the LoC in Kashmir has asked its units for greater vigil, the army source said.

Instructions have also been issued for greater vigil against terrorist attacks in crowded areas, army camps and key installations, the official said.

During a fierce encounter in the Keli Mandir area near Samba Sunday evening, Indian security forces shot dead two holed-up militants who had killed eight people, including a woman and a photo-journalist. Eleven others were injured in the gun battle.

The Border Security Force (BSF) said it had foiled a major infiltration bid by militants from Pakistan across the LoC May 8.

“A group of about 15 militants tried to infiltrate into the Indian side from Glarh border sector,” a BSF official said.

That area is about 15 km from the place where the gun battle took place Sunday. Security forces said some militants might have sneaked into India.

To condole the deaths of those killed in the Sunday gun battle, Jammu Monday observed a shutdown called by several political parties.

“The shutdown is being observed mainly to condole the death of innocent people, including a photo journalist, and express our solidarity with their families,” said a social activist.

The bodies of the two soldiers, Atul and Aziz Mohammad who were killed in the gun fight with militants Sunday, were sent to their native places.

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