Two majors, nine guerrillas killed in Kashmir gunfight


Srinagar : Two senior army officers and nine separatist guerrillas were killed in a two-day-long fierce gunfight that ended Wednesday at Rangiwali forests near North Kashmir picnic spot Tangmarg, 60 km from here.

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“The gunfight has ended and the bodies of nine militants were recovered from the house in which they were holed up,” a senior police officer said here. A huge quantity of arms and ammunition has been recovered from the hideout.

Troops are combing the area, the officer said.

A heavily armed group of militants was surrounded by the troops of 34 Rashtriya Rifles sparking a fierce gun battle between the holed-up terrorists and troops Tuesday.

Two army majors were killed and three troopers were injured in the encounter Tuesday.

“Major K.P. Vinay of Hyderabad died on the spot when the troops raided the house and the hiding militants opened indiscriminate automatic fire and hurled grenades at them,” said the officer.

Major D. Raghuraman, another officer, and four army troopers who were wounded in the gunfight, were evacuated to the army base hospital for specialized treatment.

“Major Raghuraman, of Chennai, succumbed to his bullet wounds early Wednesday,” the officer said.

Police said the house in Rangiwali Khas forest hamlet here near the north Kashmir tourist resort of Gulmarg in which the guerrillas were holed up was destroyed in the two-day encounter.

The Tangmarg encounter was the biggest gunfight in months in which security forces successfully eliminated a large group of militants in the valley, another senior officer said.

The nine slain guerrillas, whose identification had not been established yet, were believed to be part of a group that has infiltrated recently from Pakistan.

Authorities here maintain infiltration of heavily armed trained guerrillas into Kashmir from across the borders had increased this year as compared to the corresponding period last year.