Hizb Commander Killed in Sopore Shootout

Sopore—Two militants, including the Hizbul-Mujahideen’s chief for north Kashmir Parvez Ahmed Wani was killed in an encounter with government forces in a village near Sopore in North Kashmir on Monday.

The other slain militant has been identified as Nayeem Ahmed Najar, Wani’s accomplice.

Contingents of forces, including troops from the Army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles, and the members of J&K police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) and the CRPF’s 92, 177 and 179 battalions, laid siege to Chak-e-Brath village of Shankar Gund Brath belt, in the outskirts of Sopore town, late last night.

A senior police officer while confirming the shootout in the area said that a joint team laid a siege following inputs about the presence of some militants.

The officer said that as the joint team of forces intensified the search operation, the militants present in the area opened fire triggering off an encounter.

Reports quoting locals said that after the exchange of fire amid occasional grenade explosions, which continued for a couple of hours from dawn on Monday, the house was in flames.

Later, the bodies of the slain militants were recovered and two AK-47, three magazines, and 90 rounds of live ammunition, and one INSAS with one magazine and 13 rounds of live ammunition were seized from the scene of the encounter, the police said.

A statement issued by the police here in the evening said that Wani was the ‘divisional commander’ of the Hizb. The duo, it said, was involved in many anti-national and anti-social activities. Wani was involved also in series of blasts at mobile towers in 2015 and in the killing of civilians and the policemen including two cops in a marketplace in Handwara in Kupwara district in 2013, in the terror attacks on a police post in Langaet (Kupwara) in 2016 and on an Army convoy also in Handwara, the police said.

In wake of the gunfight, authorities ordered all educational institutes in twin towns of Sopore and Baramulla shut.

Meanwhile the phone services have also been snapped, except BSNL.

Internet snapped again in Kupwara

Authorities Monday once again snapped internet services in border district of Kupwara as a “precautionary measure” in the wake of Sopore encounter that left two militants dead.

Sources said that the telecom authorities on the directions of authorities snapped all modes of mobile internet including 2G, 3G and 4G in Kupwara district today. Sources said that the suspension was ordered in the wake of killing of two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, one of whom was a resident of Handwara, in Sopore gunfight.

The internet services were restored only two days ago in Kupwara after being suspended following protests in Lolab against disappearance of local youth in alleged army custody. The sources attribute the suspension “to maintaining law and order in the district”. (GNS)



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