National

Hizb ambush in J&K leaves three soldiers, civilian dead

Villagers attend the funeral of a woman who was killed in the crossfire at Mulu Chitragam, 60 km south of Srinagar, on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Three soldiers were killed and five others, including a Lieutenant Colonel and a Major, were injured when militants ambushed an Army convoy in Shopian early on Thursday. One woman was also killed in the crossfire.

A Srinagar-based police spokesman told The Hindu that a joint search team of army and police was attacked by militants at Mulu Chitragam, Shopian, 60 km south of Srinagar, at 2:25 a.m.

The militants fired at the Army patrol for an hour under cover of darkness.

Search operation

The personnel of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles were returning from a search and cordon operation at Kungnoo village when the militants opened fire.

The police said the woman, identified as Taja, “was hit by a stray bullet inside her house during the crossfire”.

The Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attack. “A Hizbul squad carried out the attack. We congratulate it for the successful attack,” said Hizbul deputy chief Peer Saifullah Khalid and Mehmood Ghaznawi.

The deceased soldiers were identified as Lance Naik Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Rather of Bijbehara, Sapper Sreejith M.J. of Palakkad in Kerala and Sepoy Vikas Singh Gurjar of Rajasthan.

A sumo that carried soldiers came under a militant attack at Mulu Chitragam, Shopian

A sumo that carried soldiers came under a militant attack at Mulu Chitragam, Shopian   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

 

Lieutenant Colonel Mukesh Jha and Major Amardeep Singh, who sustained grievous injuries, are undergoing treatment, along with three other injured soldiers, the Army spokesman said.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the attack and said, “Violence has never been and could never be a means to address issues. The unending cycle of violence has brought untold miseries to the people and collective efforts are needed to get the State out of the morass of death and destruction.”

Another cordon and search operation in north Kashmir came under stone pelting in Baramulla’s Palhalan area. Locals said three residents were hit by pellets during the clashes.

Rising toll

With Thursday’s attack, the number of security personnel killed in Kashmir in just a fortnight has gone up to nine. Nineteen militants have also been killed in the same period. While two jawans were killed on February 5 during an operation which left four Hizbul Mujahideen militants dead, February 14 saw a Major killed in an encounter at Kupwara. The same day, three Army personnel were killed in heavy fire from militants hiding in a house in Parrey Mohalla in Bandipora.

“One seriously injured civilian was shifted to a Srinagar hospital,” said a police official.

Praising civilians for supporting trapped militants, Lashkar-e-Toiba chief, Mehmood Shah said, “The collective effort by public and militants will take the ongoing movement to its logical conclusion. I salute to the people of Kashmir who despite being threatened by Indian Army head came on roads to fight against them and conveyed a message that they are ready to fight against any fear.”

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 6:16:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Militants-ambush-Army-convoy-in-Shopian/article17352053.ece

Next Story