Army colonel dies in gun battle with militants in Kupwara

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An Indian Army colonel was injured on Tuesday in a gun battle with separatist guerrillas in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district and died in a hospital, officials said.

Colonel Santosh Kumar, commandant of the 41 Rashtriya Rifles, was injured in the gun battle with militants in Wanigah forest area of Kupwara district, a police official said.

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“A constable of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police was also injured in the operation against the militants,” the official said.

The constable said he was injured while helping evacuate the army officer.

Colonel Santosh Kumar was leading the operation against the guerrillas when he was injured.

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Army authorities confirmed that the officer sustained critical injuries in the gunfight and was airlifted to the army’s base hospital in Srinagar.

The security forces had surrounded a large forest area in Kupwara district on Friday following reports that a group of heavily armed guerrillas was hiding inside the forest after infiltrating into Indian territory from across the Line of Control (LoC).

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Two Rashtriya Rifles soldiers were injured on Friday in the security operation against the guerrillas. One soldier of the territorial army was also injured.

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