2 More Burhan Associates, Soldier Killed in Pulwama

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SRINAGAR: Two militants and an army soldier were killed in an encounter in Pulwama district on Monday.

Official sources said that army’s 44RR and SOG cordoned off Drabgam village of Pulwama following specific information about the presence of some militants in the area.

As the joint team of forces intensified searches in the village, the militants, believed to be two in number, opened fire, triggering a firefight, they said.

Both the militants died on the spot while a soldier identified as Naib Subaidar KVS Reddy of 44 RR sustained bullet injuries during the encounter that lasted for half an hour, they said.

The injured soldier was immediately evacuated to army’s 92 base hospital here in Srinagar where he succumbed to grave bullet injuries, they said.

While confirming the incident, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) South Kashmir said that two militants have been killed in the gunfight.

The DIG identified the slain militants as Afaqullah Bhat son of Abdul Rashid Bhat of Karimabad and Abdul Manan Dar son of Bashir Ahmad of Amarbugh, Shopian. The DIG said that both of them were associated with Burhan, a top commander of Hizb militant outfit. Dar, according to DIG had joined the outfit on 14 May 2015.

Meanwhile  Srinagar based senior defence ministry official confirmed the death of a soldier during the encounter.

“During the searches two militant bodies have been recovered along with as many AK-47 rifles”, the defence official added.

Mystery blast rocks Pulwama town

A ‘mysterious’ blast that rocked protected Tehsil Office on Sunday night created panic in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Police sources told CNS that an explosion went off on Sunday night in the Tehsil Office adjacent to the police station Pulwama. The explosion went off with a bang causing damage to the several parked  vehicles. Locals informed CNS that the deafening noise due to the explosion created panic in the town. They said soon after the blast they heard few gunshots.

Confirming the incident, a police official said that they are investigating the matter. “A mysterious blast rocked Tehsil Office on Sunday evening. However, there was no loss of life,” he said.

Meanwhile, Army personnel from 55 RR, SOG men and CRPF party from 183 Battalion laid a siege of General Bus Stand Pulwama on Monday afternoon and carried out search operation there. Eyewitnesses said that the passengers, drivers and conductors were directed to stand in queue and their identity cards were thoroughly checked. The government forces searched all the vehicles present in the premises of the bus stand.

A police official told CNS that the Bus Stand was cordoned off after specific inputs about the presence of an armed militant in the bus stand. He however said that nobody was arrested during the search operation.

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