Sopore: Out of total seven civilians gunned down by unidentified armed men in the current year in restive Sopore town, six of them have been killed within a period of 21 days.
The killing spree of civilians started from May 25 last month when mysterious armed outfit Lashkar-e-Islam attacked a telecom centre and killed a civilian Rafiq Ahmed of Tangmarag on spot.
The total number of civilians who lost their lives in different militancy related incidents across Valley this year is so far 17 and among them seven were killed in Sopore town alone.
Security personnel killed 5 militants in the town so far during three different gunfights. One civilian was killed in January, two were murdered in May and in the first part of June unknown gunmen have killed so far four civilians.
On January 4 this year, police recovered the body of son of a Sarpanch Umar Ishaq Mir (20) of Nowpora Tujar Sharief Sopore while his father Muhammad Ishaq alleged that unidentified gunmen killed his son after they abducting him.
On May 25, gunmen claiming to be from Lashkar-e-Islam fired upon Telecom Centre injuring three among which one civilian Rafiq Ahmed succumbed to his injuries. Next day after this killing landlord Ghulam Hasan Dar who had given his land to mobile company for installation of tower was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Dooru Sopore. On June 9 unidentified gunmen shot dead a pharmacist and an activist of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Sheikh Altaf of Iqbal Nagar Sopore at New Colony Sopore. Separatists and the family blamed Indian secret agencies for the killing.
On June 12 again unidentified gunmen appeared and shot dead a shopkeeper and Hurriyat G activist Khurshid Ahmed Bhat at Bomai Sopore. On June 14 unknown gunmen shot dead former militant Merajuddin Dar at Badambagh Sopore while on Monday morning of June 15 unidentified gunmen shot dead former militant Ajaz Ahmed Reshi at Mundji Sopore.
Besides these civilian killings by unknown gunmen in Sopore, this year five militants were killed in three different gun battles in different parts of the Sopore town.
On January 14, Pakistani LeT militant Abu Sufiyaz was killed in an encounter with Government Forces at Sofi Hamam Chankhan area of the Sopore town while on January 18 two militants were killed in Saidpora Sopore encounter. One was identified as LeT commander Assadullah alias Abu Said of Pakistan and the other was senior commander of JeM Muhammad Ramzan.
On February 21, two LeT militants namely Numan and Abu Saad were killed during an encounter with government forces in Thakgund hamlet of Sopore town. (CNS)
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