North Kashmir: 2 Militants Killed In Predawn Gunfight In Handwara  

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Thousands Join Funeral Of Slain Lashkar Duo; Internet Snapped, Schools Closed  

SRINAGAR —  Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter with the armed forces in Kupwara district of North Kashmir Tuesday, police said.

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Galoora area of Handwara, in the north Kashmir district, early this morning following specific information about the presence of militants there, police spokesman said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants fired upon the search party of the forces.

The security forces retaliated and killed two militants, the spokesman said, adding some arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of the encounter.

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The spokesman identified the slain militants as Furqan Rashid Lone alias Adil and Liyaqat Ahmad Lone alias Sahaba alias Umar Khalid. Both were affiliated with the LeT, he said.

The spokesman said Furqan, a resident of Shartpora area of Langate in Kupwara, was wanted in a number of criminal cases. 

Liyaqat, a resident of Harwan area of Sopore in the neighbouring Baramulla district had a long history of involvement in terror related activities and was wanted in a number of criminal cases including kidnapping and rape of a minor local girl , the spokesman said.

He said Liyaqat along with other LeT militants – Gani Khawaja, a resident of Kralgund and Majid Mir, a resident of Nowpora Sopore – was involved in the murder of Hakim-ur-Rehman, a resident of Reshipora Bomai, who was shot dead on Saturday. 

Rehman was an activist of the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Following the killing, clashes erupted between protesters and government forces at Galoora and Langate areas.

Reports said that youth took to streets and clashed with the forces after the news about the death of the two militants spread in the area.

Later in the day, thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of the slain militants at their respective villages in Harwan, Sopore and Shartpora, Langate.

Amid protests and pro-freedom slogans, the duo was laid to rest in respective graveyards at their native villages.   

Grenade attack in Pattan  

Militants on Tuesday evening lobbed a grenade towards police station Pattan which exploded outside.

However, sources said that there was no no loss of life or injury reported in the attack.

Meanwhile whole area has been cordoned off to nab the attackers, a police officer said.


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