New Delhi: Terming the fierce gun battle near the tourist resort of Gulmarg on Wednesday, in which nine terrorists and two Army Majors were killed, as an “isolated incident,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony said there was no setback to the process of return to normality in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The situation in the State is showing improvement and the valley is by and large peaceful,” Mr. Antony said. “We have to remain vigilant, especially in Jammu and Kashmir.”

He, however, did not say if the government proposed to undertake troop withdrawal from the militancy-hit State.

Asked whether the Gulmarg incident belied claims that there had been a drop in infiltration of militants, Mr. Antony said there had been a definite decline in infiltration. The Army officers had the tradition of leading an operation from the front. “The two officers [the Majors killed in the encounter] were in the forefront of the battle,” he said, adding the “nation saluted their valour.” — PTI

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