Violence escalates in Kashmir; 8 militants, 2 soldiers killed

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Srinagar, Nov 16 (UNI) In stepped up violence across the Kashmir valley, eight militants and two soldiers have been killed in separate ongoing gun-battles so far, officials said today.

Of the eight militants, six, believed to be foreigners, have been killed during an ongoing fierce gunfight in Lolab forests of Kupwara district in north Kashmir.

Defence spokesman Lt Col A K Mathur said troops noticed some suspicious movement in the forest area of Lolab early today.

When challenged, the militants opened heavy volume of fire on the troops, he said, adding the fire was effectively retaliated, leading to a fierce gun-battle between the troops and the ultras.

So far, the spokesman said, six militants and two soldiers have been killed in the gunfight, which had intensified when reports last came in some time ago.

The identification of the slain militants was being ascertained.

Col Mathur said a large cache of arms and ammunition was also seized from the site, but did not give the exact details.

The spokesman said troops of 10 PARA gunned down a militant during an encounter at Shogbaba in Bandipora area of Baramulla district last night.

In another gunfight at Gund-e-Machar in Kupwara district today, personnel of 2 PARA and the police killed a militant.

Meanwhile, a gun-battle erupted between militants and security forces in Pranhal area of Kulgam district early this morning.

The encounter ensued after a joint party of the police and 9 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) raided a militant hideout in the area.

UNI

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