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J&K: 3 day-long encounter leaves four dead
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | December 26, 2006 09:01 IST
Four persons, including a senior army officer, were killed during a three-day long encounter that ended Monday evening.
The fierce gun fight started early Saturday morning when the troops of 29 Rashtriya Rifles laid a cordon around Tilgam village, 45 kms from Srinagar in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, following a specific tip-off that some top militants of Lashkar-e-Tayiba outfit had been hiding inside the village.
The RR soldiers, led by their commandant, Colonel G S Sarna broke a hideout in the village in which two militants were holed up.
"The presence of militants was first sighted by Colonel Sarna himself, who personally broke open the hideout in a house and challenged the militants," defence spokesman Colonel Hemant Juneja said.
"A fire fight ensued between the officer and some militants at a very close range and resulted in the killing of one militant by the officer on the spot and seriously injuring another. However, in the process, Colonel Sarna received multiple bullet injuries and while being evacuated to the hospital, succumbed to his injuries," he said.
Heavy additional reinforcements were rushed to the spot and the cordon around the house used by militants as a hideout was tightened.
The RR troops engaged the hiding militants in a sustained gun battle for three days at the end of which the hideout was mortar blasted Monday morning.
As the firing exchanges stopped Monday, afternoon bodies of two slain militants were recovered from the debris of the blasted house.
One villager was also killed in the gun fight.
"A brave and valiant officer, always known for leading his men from the front, he exhorted his men to continue the operation successfully. Colonel G S Sarna exhibited a sense of indomitable courage during the operations," Colonel Juneja added.