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J&K: Army officer killed in encounter
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | November 09, 2007 16:21 IST
A senior officer of the elite counter-insurgency Rashtriya Rifles was killed and a member of the special operations group critically wounded in two continuing north Kashmir encounters on Friday.
Police said Major Varinder Singh of 52 RR was killed on the spot when hiding militants opened indiscriminate automatic fire at the search parties of the army in Saidpora village near Pattan in Baramulla district, where an encounter between militants and security forces entered the fourth day on Friday.
"Major Varinder Singh received fatal bullet injuries in the head and died on the spot. Three army troopers and three militants have been killed in this operation so far. We have tightened the cordon at the encounter site and are conducting the operation," a senior a senior police officer said in Srinagar [Images].
In another north Kashmir encounter in the apple rich town of Sopore, security forces on Friday morning resumed their operations against the Lashkar-e-Tayiba militants who are holed up in a concrete three-story hotel building in the town square.
"We have rescued over 200 civilians from the hotel and the nearby houses and shops in the densely populated town," a police officer said in Srinagar.
Throughout the night intermittent firing exchanges were continuing. This morning security forces entered the ground floor of the hotel, as they came under heavy fire from the militants causing serious injuries to a head constable of the special operations group of the police.
More reinforcements of Central Reserve Police Force and local police have been rushed to the encounter site.
The Sopore gunfight started on Thursday afternoon, when militants attacked a party of the CRPF and later barged into a local hotel in the main town.
One CRPF trooper was injured in the initial attack.
The hotel was immediately surrounded by the CRPF and SOG.