Lolab gunfight ends, 2 more LeT militants killed

SRINAGAR: Two more militants were killed in an encounter in Lolab area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Saturday, taking toll to three.

A police officer told Srinagar based news agency GNS that after the killing of top commander Abu Usama on Friday night, two of his associates had taken refuge in a residential house of Shah Zaman Chohan in Dardpora village.

A joint team of army’s 28 RR along with the additional reinforcement from 18 RR and SOG of the Jammu and Kashmir Police laid siege around the house following which an encounter ensued in which both the militants were killed.

Local sources said that army and SOG used mortar shells and razed the house to rubble. Bodies of both the militants have been retrieved and their identification is being ascertained, the police officer said.

Soon after the incident hundreds of people took to streets and clashed with government forces. The angry protesters threw stones at army and police vehicles following which the forces resorted to tear smoke shells and baton charge against the protesters.

When reports last came in, the search operation in the area was going on.

Earlier, after conducting all legal formalities, the local police handed over the body of the militant Abu Usama to local auqaf committee in Dardpora for burial where hundreds of people participated in his last rites.

Following the killing, there was spontaneous shutdown in Dardpora, Lalpora and its adjoining areas.

“Abu Usama, believed to be part of the group comprising of three to four members had infiltrated into this part of Kashmir some six months back and were hiding inside the dense bushes of Lolab”, the police officer said.

Based on the specific information about the presence of some militants, the army’s 28 RR had launched a cordon-and-search operation near Ziyarat Sharief at Lohar Mohalla last evening.

As the forces were zeroing in, the militants opened fire upon them, triggering an encounter. 

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