Kashmir: Soldiers, LeT militants killed in Bandipora encounter

CNN Kashmir Map Jammu and Kashmir disputed territories under control of India Pakistan and China

In 1990, at least four air force officers were killed by Yasin Malik, one of the top members of the militant group, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). Two IAF Garud personnel, who were part of the operation for training and experience objective, were fatally injured in the exchange of fire.

In September 2016, over 19 Indian soldiers were killed in an attack on the Uri army base.

Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday took a hit in the Kashmir valley for the first time in the last 27 years of violent insurgency, when two of its commandos were killed in a fierce gunbattle with terrorists in north Kashmir's Bandipora district.

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A senior police officer said on late Monday night, the army's 13 Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a cordon and search operation at Rakh-e-Hajin village, 35 km from here, following inputs about the presence of Lashkar-e-Toiba militants. Both belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit, he said.

"The terrorists opened fire and lobbed a grenade, in which one Garud Commando Corporal Nilesh Kumar Nayan attained martyrdom on the spot while another Garud Commando Sergeant Khairnar Milind Kishor got seriously injured and later succumbed to his injuries", a police spokesman said. The Garud personnel were operating with the army for operational experience.

The hidden militants triggered the encounter by firing at the approaching security forces.

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Local sources said that all the shops and business establishments are shut while traffic is also off the roads.

One among the militant killed is a Pakistani named Ali alias Abu Maaz, and the other, a local militant Nasrullah Mir.

He said that in a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt, Lt Gen JS Sandhu, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks along with Air Cdre VS Choudhary, AOC 1 Wing AF, paid homage to the martyrs on behalf of a proud nation. "It is a big success for security forces", Vaid said.

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