Militant Killed, Clashes In Hajin

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Srinagar—A militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit was killed in an encounter at Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Official sources that a joint team of army’s 13 RR, SOG and CRPF 45 bn laid a siege at Shakoor Mohalla in Hajin.

A top police officer said that the cordon-and-search operation in the area was launched at around 5:00 am following inputs about the presence of some militants.

 “As the joint team approached the suspected spot the hiding militants opened fire triggering off a gunfight”, the official said.

In the ensuing gunfight, a Pakistani militant of LeT outfit was killed and his identity is being ascertained, he said.

Meanwhile, army’s 13 RR Commanding Officer, Kamal Thapa while briefing a press conference said that last night at around 12:05 am a joint team of army and police launched a cordon and search operation following inputs about the presence of 1 or 2 militants in Shakurdin Mohalla of Hajin.

 “At around 1:30 am to 4: 00 am the joint parties established the inner cordon in the mohalla with an aim to neutralize the militants,” Thapa said.

At around 4:15 am, as the joint parties challenged the suspected movement of the militant who opened fire and was later engaged in a gunfight, Thapa said. In the brief exchange of gunfight, the militant believed to be a non-local got killed.

The body of the deceased was recovered along with an AK-47 rifle, two grenades, Indian currency, mobile phone, notebooks and other warlike stores. The operation was later called off and it was ensured that there was no collateral damage.

Soon after the encounter, the youth took to streets and pelted stones on the forces. The police and para-military CRPF used tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters.

Amid stone-pelting clashes, authorities blocked the internet services in Hajin while as the people of the town observed the spontaneous shutdown to mourn the death of the militant.  The militant was buried in a graveyard at Gantamulla in Barumulla.  The foreign militants are often buried in the graveyard. In the evening, some locals and policemen of police station Sheeri buried the militants in the graveyard. 

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