Militants escape army cordon after gunfight

SRINAGAR: Two militants on Tuesday gave slip to Special Operations Group (SOG) of police and army in Ichkoot village of central Kashmir’s Budgam district after a brief encounter.

Official sources said that the joint team of SOG and army’s 35 and 53 RR laid a cordon around 4:30 pm at Ichkoot village of the district after receiving intelligence inputs suggesting the presence of Lashkar militants Umar and Riyaz in the village. As the team started search operations, the militants hiding in the village opened several shots at them before fleeing.

Sources said that Omar is a Pakistani national, while Reyaz is a Budgam resident.

Though the forces intensified the searches in the village, the militants, sources said, have managed to escape. The search operation was in progress when the last reports came in.

However, a senior police official said the militants were still in the village which is under a strict cordon. “The militants are still under cordon in a nearby village. We won’t let them escape,” a senior police official said. 

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