2 Militants Killed In Sopore Shootout; ‘Big Loss,’ says Hizb

SRINAGAR: Two militants were killed in a brief shoot out in Sopore area of Baramulla district on Saturday.

After the dead bodies of two militants were recovered, J&K Police claimed to have thwarted a “major” militant action. However, after the news flashed through media outlets, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen termed it a “big loss”.

“An information was received that militants were travelling in a vehicle and were planning some militant action in Sopore area,” J&K police spokesperson said in a statement, “police and security forces immediately swung into action and intercepted them near Amargarh Sopore.”

The JKP spokesperson added, “while being challenged, militants lobbed a grenade and fired upon police party in which SP operation Baramulla, Shafqat Hussain and a Sub-Inspector of Police Mohammad, Murtaza, were injured.” “In the retaliatory action, two militants were killed.”

Police identified the slain militants as Azhar Khan of Kupwara and Sajad Lone of (Eidipora Bomai) Sopore. “Both (were) senior commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and were involved in many militant activities.”

“Sajad was an active militant of HM who had gone to Pakistan in March 2016 on passport and infiltrated to take command of HM in Sopore,” police said in the statement.

The police spokesperson added, “two AK series rifles, one pistol, 4 hand grenades and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.”

In its statement, Hizb said that the death of its militants in Sopore gunfight was a “big loss” for the outfit.

The Hizb spokesperson in a statement to CNS identified the slain militants as Azaharuddin alias Ghazi Umar and Sajad Ahmed alias Babar.

“Both were local militants who had been affiliated with the outfit for quite some time. Azaharuddin alias Ghazi Umar was a lecturer by profession who had abdicated the government service and had joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen,” said the outfit’s Operational spokesperson, Burhan-ud-din.

Paying tributes to the slain militants, he said that their death was a “big loss” for the outfit.

Meanwhile, mourners braved rains and chill to take part in last rites of slain Hizb militant Sajad Ahmad Lone.

Women were seen showering candies on the body of Lone after it reached the Eidipora Bomai – his ancestral village.

Mourners were shouting pro-freedom slogans as they carried the body of Lone, 21, on their shoulders.

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