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Don’t want to kill militants, giving them opportunity to surrender: Army Commander

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Srinagar: General officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lieutenant General BS Raju Tuesday said that the armed forces don’t want to kill militants and that an opportunity to surrender is given to every militant.
In a short video uploaded on the official handle of Chinar Corps (15 Corps), Lt General Raju said that any loss of life is sad. “Six-year-old boy who was killed in Bijbehara (Anantnag) and the recent incident at Sopore where a 65-year-old man was killed were unfortunate. The picture (showing the grandchild of the slain man on the chest of his dead grandfather) elicited emotions,” the army officer said.
He said that the army has had a string of successful anti-militancy operations in Kashmir. “The only way for a militant to get back is to strike and to engage us in populated areas. That’s what happened in Bijbehara and Sopore as both towns are busy places. In both the incidents, we had CRPF casualties and multiple injuries to (CRPF men) also,” the GoC said.
He said that in Sopore militants had used a mosque which is a new phenomenon. “From the mosque, we recovered 60 rounds of empty cases. The initial rounds were used to target CRPF men and the rest of the 50 were obviously fired with an aim to escape. Those 50 rounds caused civilian causality and that’s what exactly happened,” the army officer said. “These incidents are exploited by the environment and they provide a solid tool for the propaganda.
“As I said, every loss of life is unfortunate. We don’t even want to kill militants, we give them an opportunity to surrender,” the GoC Raju said.
The army tweet above the video on the official twitter handle reads: “Militants striking in populated areas seek civil casualties because that gets attention. Civilian deaths provide fodder to propaganda machines. Security forces show restraint. Even to the militants, we always offer the choice to surrender”. About the IED threats, the GoC said that vehicle borne IEDs will always remain a threat as they cause a lot of casualties to troops. “To minimize the threat, we are looking at JeM which needs to be targeted both its leadership as well as its cadre,” he said.
“We need to see how explosives are being made available. How militants manage explosives from the stone quarries or for that matter from the tunnels that area constructed in Kashmir. Whenever an IED attack takes place, Pakistan is happy. We are alive to the threat of IEDs.”
He said that the real aim of these IED attacks is to force the increased security curbs and checks that cause inconvenience to the people. “This needs to be understood by the Awaam. We seek collaboration to counter this threat,” the GoC said. (KNO)

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