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5 intruders gunned down on LoC

Srinagar, May 10: The army today said it had killed five militants in Kashmir’s Uri sector on the LoC in the first contact with a group of infiltrators this year.

An army spokesperson said the militants were killed in the Chelan area during an encounter that ensued after the force noticed some movement at midnight.

“The militants were asked to surrender but a gunfight followed. There was no loss of life from our side,” the spokesperson said.

Police sources said five bodies had been found and the process to identify them was on. “Search operations are on in the area as there are apprehensions that some more militants could be hiding in the area,” an official said.

Attempts by militants to enter the Valley pick up in March after the snow starts melting on the infiltration routes on the LoC.

But official sources said the LoC has remained relatively calm this year. “By this time last year several groups had already infiltrated. There was massive snowfall on the LoC this year which could be one of the reasons for little movement of militants so far,” an official said.

The official added that the border fencing suffered extensive damage caused by snow but it had been largely repaired.

Militancy in Jammu and Kashmir is at its lowest ebb since its inception in 1989 with officials putting the number of active militants at around 200 in the state.

Incidents involving militants declined considerably last year in which 30 civilians and 31 security force and police personnel were killed. Officials said there have been only eight ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the LoC this year.