2 Militants Killed in Kupwara, Shopian Gunfights

Srinagar: Two militants were killed and a soldier was injured in two separate gunfights at Kupwara and Shopian districts of Kashmir Valley.
A group of militant was intercepted at Zunreshi forest area in Chowkibal of Kupwara district in north Kashmir last night after the sentry noticed some suspicious movement at around 11:40 pm, a police official told news agency GNS, adding that the group of militants after being challenged opened fire and hurled number of hand grenades towards them, triggering an encounter.
However, it could not be immediately ascertained whether the militants believed to be 3 to 4 in number tried to sneak inside the camp or they were moving towards any place when they were spotted and subsequently challenged by the soldiers who were manning the boundary of the army camp of 19 MLI, the officer said.
Meanwhile, the firefight continued intermittently for several hours, he said, adding that an unknown militant has been gunned down during the standoff.  However, the remaining members of the group who could be “infiltrators” managed to escape while taking advantage of darkness and dense bushes in the area.
With the help of additional reinforcement from para troopers, the joint team of forces launched massive searches in the wee hours today and have pressed choppers and sniffer dogs into service to locate the fleeing militants, the official said.
Later, the body of the unknown militant has been handed over to local Auqaf Committee at Zunreshi by police. Large number of people attended the funeral of the slain before he was laid to rest in a local gravyard at Zunreshi.
In another encounter at Pehlipora area of Shopian in South Kashmir, a local Hizbul Mujahideen militant was killed in an overnight gunfight with army’s 44 RR and SOG. The slain militant has been identified as Farooq Ahmad Sheikh (35) of Nazimpora, Shopian. The slain joined the militant ranks last year on April 4 and is a father of two.
After conducting all legal formalities, the body of the slain militant was handed over to his relatives for last rites. Thousands of people participated in his funeral prayers before he was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard. A complete shutdown was observed in Shopian district against the killing but situation remained peaceful.
The authorities, in order to maintain law and order, jammed the mobile phone services since morning till 6 PM. Sources said the telecom companies were directed to shutdown the mobile towers by authorities in the morning and subsequently the sites were down. (GNS)


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