An army convoy in South Kashmir’s Shopian district was ambushed by militants of pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen terror group on Thursday. Three armed personnel were martyred whereas five others were wounded, including two officers. A civilian caught in crossfire was also killed.
The incident happened around 2 AM when the army personnel were returning after cordon and search operations at remote Kungnu village of Shopian district, about 60 km from Srinagar, official sources said.
The sources said when the army convoy was returning to its base, it was ambushed by militants in Molu locality near Chitargam. In the gunbattle that ensued, three soldiers—Lance Naik Ghulam Mohiuddin Rather, hailing from Bijbehara in South Kashmir, Sapper Sreejith M J, a resident of Palakkad in Kerala and Sepoy Vikas Singh Gurjar of Rajasthan—were killed besides a woman, who was caught in the crossfire.
Two officers—Lt Colonel Mukesh Jha and Major Amardeep Singh - are among the five injured army personnel. The condition of the Major and a soldier was stated to be critical. The woman killed in the encounter has been identified as Jana Begum.
Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit claimed responsibility for the ambush. A caller, who introduced himself as spokesman for the outfit, told a local news agency that its operatives carried out the attack.
Army has and lost nine personnel to militancy in a fortnight, including those killed in Thursday's action.While two army jawans were killed on February five during an operation which left four Hizbul Mujahideen militants dead, February 14 saw an army Major being killed in an encounter at Kupwara of North Kashmir.
The same day, three army personnel were killed when they came under heavy fire from militants hiding in house in Parrey Mohalla in Bandipora in North Kashmir.