Senior commanders visit embattled Keran sector

On a day when senior commanders visited the embattled Keran sector, the Army claimed to have killed four more militants close to the Line of Control in north Kashmir.

On the 12th day, Saturday, of the massive combing operation in Kupwara district, the troops foiled a fresh infiltration attempt by heavily armed militants at Fateh Gali, 25 km west of Shalbata village, a Defence spokesman at the headquarters of 15 Corps said.

He claimed that four militants of the group — who had crossed the LoC, walked 3 km in rugged terrain and reached close to an Indian Army post late Friday night — were killed even as they directed heavy fire at a bunker.

Six AK-47 rifles and 10 pistols were among the weapons recovered from the slain militants, the spokesman said.

With these, as many as 19 militants are claimed to have been killed in the operation that began on September 24 in the Shalbata area, close to the LoC.

Though the Defence spokesman did not mention anything about the recovery of the bodies of the militants killed in the staggered operation, sources in Kupwara told The Hindu that only two bodies had been handed over to the police.

The bodies were buried in Keran on Saturday.

A day after Army Chief General Bikram Singh said the operation was in the last leg, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt. Gen. Sajiv Chachra, and GOC 15 Corps Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh carried out an aerial survey of the embattled area.

They flew past Shalbata, Juma Gund, Zirhama and other villages to have a first-hand account of the ground situation.

They interacted with field commanders and soldiers at Zangli Kupwara, headquarters of the 28 Infantry Division.

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