J&K: Anantnag operation enters third day

Srinagar, Sep 15 (UNI) Sporadic gunfire continued in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district as the operation to trace the two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants who were behind the killing of three Army and police officers entered its third day on Friday.

Officials said the operation to flush out militants at Garol in the Kokarnag forest area of Anantnag started at first light on Friday, and security forces were using the latest technologies to search the area. Elite Special Forces have also joined the operation against the hiding militants.

The sound of fire and blasts could be heard in the area.

The operation was suspended on Thursday evening in the area, officials said.

J&K Police on Thursday morning said ,” it had “encircled” two LeT militants, including a local militant identified as Uzair Khan, who were behind the killing.

So far, there is no official word on any militant casualties.

Two decorated Army officers, Colonel Manpreet Singh, Commanding Officer of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles, his company commander, Major Aashish Dhonchak, also from the 19 RR, and Deputy Superintendent of Police Himayun Muzamil Bhat, were killed and two other soldiers were injured in a gun battle in the area on Wednesday.

The Army had said the search columns to the higher reaches were being led from the front by Col. Manpreet, and Maj. Aashish and the columns moved through re-entrants and rugged terrain that had dense foliage and undergrowth.

“On Wednesday afternoon, troops came under heavy fire. They retaliated and engaged the terrorists. In the ensuing firefight, Col. Manpreet , Maj. Aashish , and DSP Humayun suffered gunshot wounds and later succumbed, laying down their lives in service to the nation in the finest traditions of the Indian Army and Security Forces,” the Army said on Thursday.

On Thursday evening, several candlelight protests were held in several districts of the valley to protest the killing of three officers.

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