SRINAGAR: Two militants were on Wednesday killed in an encounter in Pulwama district but a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and four others managed to flee from the cordon as local residents allegedly diverted the attention of security forces by pelting stones at them.
After heavy exchange of fire between the militants and government forces, police recovered bodies of two suspected militants from Agriculture Farm in Padgampora area of South Kashmirs Pulwama district. The killing of these militants sparked widespread protests in multiple hamlets of the district, while police used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters.
Reports said that a group of militants present in Wandakhpora fields attacked government forces who in a bid to encircle the militants had arrived in the area in private vehicles.
After a brief exchange of fire, the militants managed to escape in a nearby Agriculture Farm at Padgampora.
Police had reportedly received inputs about the presence of 8 to 10 militants in Wandakhpora.
As the police and Army (50 and 55RR) arrived in the area, they came under attack from militants. The militants fled from the scene; however, we cordoned off a vast portion of Agriculture Farm. There was intermittent exchange of fire between the militants and government forces. When the guns fell silent, we combed the area and recovered the bodies of two militants, the official said.
One of the slain militant is believed to be Abu Okasha, LeT militant allegedly involved in Udhmapur attack.
Eyewitnesses said that shortly after the encounter between militants and government forces commences, people from different hamlets of Pulwama district including Goripora, Pohu, Pinglen, Malangpora, Bandarpora, Lelhar tried to proceed towards encounter site. Police however halted their movement and used tear-smoke shells to disperse them. The protesters amid pro-freedom slogans resorted to heavy stone-pelting.
According to a police official at least six militants managed to escape from the encounter site.
Earlier Forces recovered an AK-47 rifle after a brief gunfight with the militants in Hadoora (Wanihama) village of Central Kashmirs Ganderbal district.
Police sources said that after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in Wanihama area, police, Special Operation Group personnel and Army (5 RR) jointly cordoned off the area. The militants present in the area fired few shots prompting government forces to retaliate. Sources added that militants managed to escape from the scene leaving behind an AK 47 rifle.
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