KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar- A soldier was killed on Saturday in an ongoing encounter with militants in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, officials said.

Police and army’s 19 RR launched a cordon and search operation in the Watnar area of Kokernag on Saturday following inputs about the presence of militants in the village, officials said. When the join team started advances, the officials said, militants hiding in the village opened fire upon them in a bid to escape from their dragnet.

“In the initial exchange of fire, a soldier was injured. He was rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to injuries,” the officials said.

He said that the joint forces retaliated to the militants firing triggering off a fierce encounter.

According to reports, additional forces were rushed to the gunfight spot to assist the joint team in carrying out the operation.

The joint forces, reports said, have also tightened the cordon to ensure that the militants don’t flee from the village. However, the number of militants hoped up in the area was not known when the last reports came in.

Today’s encounter comes two days after four Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants involved in rifle snatching and attacks on non-locals were killed by government forces in the neighbouring Shopian district on Thursday.

Aaqib Farooq Thoker, Waseem Ahmed Thoker, both resident of Heffkhuri and Farooq Ahmad Bhat and Shoqeen Ahmad Mir, both resident of Sugan in Shopian district, according to the police were categorized militants and part of groups involved in several cases including attacks on Police, security forces and “civilian atrocities”.

Soldier Found Dead With Bullet Injury

A report from north Kashmir said, a soldier died after being hit in the face with a bullet under mysterious circumstances in Tangdhar area of Kupwara district on Saturday.

Official sources said that the soldier identified as Arun Sharma of 209 field regiment army, deployed at Narpost Tangdhar, was found dead with bullet injury in lower face. They said that it was not known immediately if the soldier was hit accidentally or committed suicide by his service rifle. “Bullet is missing from service weapon but investigations are underway if the bullet was fired deliberately or went off accidentally,” they added.

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