LeT owns up to Kupwara, Army fears worst not over

26 03 2009

Source: IBNLIVE

New Delhi: Terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba has claimed responsibility for the six-day long gunbattle between the Indian Army and terrorists in Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir.

Seventeen terrorists and eight Armymen are reported to have been killed in the gunbattle – one of the bloodiest in recent months.

The LeT on Tuesday sent a letter to a local newspaper in Kashmir last night owning up to the encounter. In the letter to Kashmiri daily Rising Kashmir, LeT spokesman Dr Abdullah Gaznavi writes, “We received prior information about the army movement and laid an ambush in the forest. Indian forces have lost 25 army men including a Major while 50 of them have been injured. Ten LeT Mujahideen also achieved martyrdom in the gunfight. India should understand that the freedom struggle in Kashmir is not over. It is active with full force”.

While firing in the area has stopped, combing operation is on in the area. Four AK-47 rifles and some ammunition have also been recovered from the site.

Among those killed are Major Mohit Sharma, a decorated Army officer and a 19-year-old trooper of the special forces Shabir Malik.

In a press conference organised by the Indian Army on Wednesday, Brigadier Gurmeet Singh confirmed the death toll and said most terrorists had been gunned down.

“The weapons that have been recovered from the terrorists in the two encounters signal that they were trained,” Singh said adding the infiltrators included “foreign militants”.

In what seemed to be a confirmation of Gaznavi’s warning, Brig Singh said Army feared an infiltration attempt by 300-400 terrorists in the area.

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‘Militants waiting to infiltrate across the border’

26 03 2009

Mir Ehsan Posted: Mar 25, 2009 at 1427 hrs IST
Source: Indian Express
The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped.The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped.

The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped.

Srinagar: As the combing operation in the forests of Kupwara is still going on, Army claims that all the slain militants were foreigners owing allegiance to Lashkar-e-Toiba. So far, seventeen militants and eight soldiers have been killed in the operation.

Brigade General Staff 15 Corps, Brigadier Gurmeet Singh said the operation is going on in the thick forests of Kupwara in the difficult mountainous terrain. “The militants were primarily an infiltration group attempting to infiltrate and a reception party,” he said. “The slain militants were foreigners owing their allegiance to Lashkar e Toiba.”

Singh said that the majority of the militants have been killed. “Remnants if any, will also be eliminated.”

The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped. “We have received latest weapons, communication system and maps from the slain militants,” he said adding that the items recovered from the slain militants are being used by the state.

Brigadier Singh termed it as a first major infiltration attempt and said that more militants from across the Line of Control are waiting to sneak into the Valley. “As per intelligence reports 300 to 400 militants are awaiting on other side of the Line of Control to sneak into the Valley. We are prepared to tackle any infiltration attempt,” he said.

Singh said this is the time when militants try to infiltrate into the Valley as not only border fencing is buried under the snow also the snow starts to melt. Besides, huge quantity of war like ammunition, army has so far recovered 23 AK rifles from the encounter site.