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J&K: Colonel among 6 killed in army operation
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
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July 31, 2007 19:49 IST

A major infiltration bid into the Kashmir Valley was foiled on Tuesday by the army in which six persons, including a colonel, a trooper and four intruders, were killed in the Uri sector of the Line of Control.

Lt Colonel A K Mathur, spokesman of the army's 15th corps in Srinagar [Images], said: "Troops of 9 Maratha light infantry spotted a group of heavily-armed infiltrators near Ghodetal, 15 km north of Uri town.

"Militants, on being detected, failed to escape towards Pakistani side of LoC. Troops occupied dominating positions and prevented the infiltrated terrorists to escape," he said.

"Col Vasanth V, CO 9 Maratha LI, along with reinforcements rushed to site to personally supervise the operation. Under the determined and resolute leadership of Col Vasanth, troops in a deft move, surrounded terrorists in difficult and thickly wooded forested area," Col Mathur said.

"Heavy firefight ensued in which Colonel Vasanth personally flushed out militants. Displaying cool courage and operational acumen, Col Vasanth V poised himself and his party to block the escape routes of entrapped militants. Though being wounded, he moved swiftly closer to the hiding place of militants and fierce encounter from close quarters ensued. With little care for his personal safety, the daring Commanding Officer, leading from the front, gunned down the entrapped militants.

"In a point blank face to face exchange of heavy volume of fire Colonel Vasanth V, Lance Naik Bachav Shahkant Ganapat and Lance Havildar Ramanna RB were injured and four militants were killed," he said, adding, "Colonel Vasanth V and Lance Naik Bachav Shahkant Ganapat succumbed to injuries in hospital. The operation is still in progress."

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