Two commandos, two militants killed in Kashmir (Third Lead)

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Srinagar, Oct 11 (IANS) Two militants who had killed a BSF trooper on September 28 and two Indian Air Force (IAF) commandos were killed on Wednesday in a fierce gun battle in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Four Army soldiers were also injured in the fighting in Paribal village of Hajin area. The dead Garud commandos have been identified as Neelesh Nayan and Milind Khabar, Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

“The two Garud personnel were killed in action while operating with the Army for operational experience and training,” the spokesman said. “The Chinar Corps commander and all ranks salute the martyrs and offer condolences to the bereaved families.”

Police said the two militants killed were responsible for the September 28 killing of Border Security Force (BSF) trooper Muhammad Ramban Parray when he was on leave and visiting his home in Parray Mohalla village, also in Hajin.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Virdhi Kumar Birdi told reporters that the slain militants were Abu Baker alias Ali Baba and Nasrullah Mir of Lashkari-e-Taiba (LeT).

A Defence Ministry official called the gunfight an “intense operation”.

Earlier reports said the fighting erupted when the security personnel surrounded Paribal village early in the day following specific inputs about the militants’ presence in a house.

The hidden militants triggered the encounter by firing at the approaching security forces. The Garud commandos, who are from a special unit of the IAF, sustained critical injuries and died later.

Other security personnel fired back, killing the two militants.

The Garud commandos were raised in September 2004. The unit derives its name from Garuda, a divine bird in Hindu mythology.

–IANS

sq/mr/nir

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