|Saturday, 26 July 2003|
Raids on Kashmir militant hideouts kill 65, recover weapons: minister
NEW DELHI, Friday (AFP) Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes Thursday said a recent military operation to flush out militants from the high mountains of Indian Kashmir resulted in the deaths of 65 rebels and the recovery of major weapons caches.
The Indian army in April launched "Operation Sarpvinash" (annihilation of snakes) in the Hillkaka area of Surankote in southern Kashmir to flush out an estimated 250 to 300 militants who had set up bases there in the past three to four years.
"The operation resulted in the elimination of 65 terrorists and arrest of three, the busting of 119 hideouts and capture of 79 major weapons and large quantities of war-like stores," Fernandes said in parliament in a written response to a question.
The minister said five Indian soldiers were killed and five injured in the operation that began on April 21.
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