//Army major among nine killed in gun battle

Army major among nine killed in gun battle

Sunday January 29 2006 00:00 IST, IANS

JAMMU: An Indian Army major and a havildar as well as seven militants were killed in a fierce gun battle in Jammu and Kashmir’s border district of Poonch early on Saturday, reports reaching here said.

The encounter in Salotri, about 250 km north of Jammu, started on Saturday when Indian troops spotted a large group of infiltrators sneaking from across the Line of Control (LoC), which divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Details of the encounter that is continuing are awaited, a police official in Jammu said.

On Wednesday, General officer Commanding-in-Chief the Northern Command Lt. Gen. l. Deepak Kapur had told journalists that infiltrators were still coming from across the border and he blamed Pakistan for facilitating infiltration.

India has repeatedly pointed out to Pakistan about Islamabad’s failure to contain infiltrators and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, a charge that is vehemently denied by the Pakistani leadership.

This is the first and the biggest encounter of this year so far.