SRINAGAR Four militants including a top commander of Lashker-e-Toiba and a minor boy were killed in two separate gunfights in Bandipora districts Hajin village and Shopian district on Friday.
2 LeT Militants, Minor Boy Killed Hajin
Two militants and a minor boy were killed during a gunfight in Hajin area of north Kashmirs Bandipora district.
Reports said a joint team of Army’s 13RR, CRPF and SOG launched a cordon at Mir Mohalla of Hajin late on Thursday.
A police officer said the operation was launched following credible inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.
As the joint team of forces approached the suspected house, the hiding militants fired upon them, triggering off an encounter. The operation was suspended for the night and resumed at the crack of the dawn, he said.
Both the militants were killed in the encounter, he said. The teenage boy who was held hostage was killed by the militants, the officer added.
A police spokesman said that Initially, the militants kept two civilians as hostages. However police and security forces with the assistance of community members safely rescued one civilian Abdul Hameed a 60-year-old man.
“Another civilian a 12-year-old boy Aatif Mir was kept hostage by the militants till the end and despite repeated requests by community members and police for his release, he was brutally killed by them and could not be rescued from their clutches,” the spokesman said.
Militants then fired on the security forces who engaged them in an encounter after the civilians in the adjoining areas had been evacuated to safer places. In the ensuing encounter, 02 militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter, the spokesman said.
From the incriminating material recovered at the site of the encounter, it is understood that the two slain militants were Pakistani nationals identified as Ali and Hubaib. As per the police records, both were affiliated with LeT outfit, the spokesman said.
“They were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including attacks on security force establishments and civilian atrocities. According to the police records they were also responsible for conspiring and executing many terror attacks in the area. Several terror crime cases were registered against them,” the spokesman said.
Official sources said that the house belonging to Abdul Hamid Mir was razed to rubble during the gunfight and all the three bodies were charred. Police and army also recovered two Ak-47 rifles. Among the two militants killed, one is said to be Ali Bhai, a top commander of LeT who was active in the area for several years. However, the identity and group affiliation of the slain militants was not official confirmed so far.
SPO Turned JeM Affiliate Among 2 Militants Killed In Shopian
Two militants including an SPO turned Jaish-e-Mohammad member were killed in an encounter in Ratnipora area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Reports said that a joint team of army’s 34 RR, SOG and CRPF laid a cordon and search operation in Ratnipora village late last night.
A police officer said that the CASO was launched following inputs about the presence of some militants. “The joint team in the meantime fired some warning shots towards the suspected spot which was responded by militants and it was retaliated, triggering off a gunfight”.
“During the course of gunfight, two militants have been killed and their bodies along with two weapons were recovered from the site late this afternoon,” the officer said, adding that both the slain militants were affailated with JeM outfit.
SSP Shopian Sandeep Choudhary identified the slain militants as Showkat Ahmad of Heramain and Yasir Ahmad Shah of Aarhama. SSP said that Showkat was an SPO turned militant and had joined the militant outfit last year.
Meanwhile, massive protest erupted near encounter site and its adjoining villages including Gadapora as protesters tried to march closer to the gunfight spot. The forces used pellets and tear smoke shells to disperse the protesting youth. The stone pelting clashes amid a shutdown was also received from neighbouring Pulwama district
At least fifteen youth were injured in the clashes near encounter site. Among the fifteen injured, ten of them were taken to district hospital Shopian for treatment. A policeman namely Tariq Ahmad also sustained serious head injuries after being hit by a stone during clashes in adjoining Ratnipora village of the district, the official sources said.
A doctor who operated upon them said that five youth suffered pellet injuries in their eyes while one of them had been shot in the neck.
“All the ten injured were later referred to different hospitals in Srinagar for advanced treatment,” he said.
Meanwhile, in wake of the gunfight, the internet services were suspended in Shopian for precautionary measures.
Warpora Sopore Encounter Continues
The encounter between militants and government forces at Warpora area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district entered second day on Friday.
SSP Sopore Javid Iqbal said that the operation was still in progress and so far there was no clarity about killing of any militant as no body has been recovered so far. However source ssaid one militant has been killed.
“We have installed lights and the cordon in the area is intact,” the SSP said.
The encounter broke out at Mir Mohalla area of Warpora Sopore after a joint team of Armys 22 RR, special operation group of police and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in the area on Thursday morning.
Station House Officer (SHO) and his two security guards were injured near the encounter site yesterday.
Thousands Turn Up In Sopore Militants Funeral, His JeM Affiliate Buried Silently
Thousands of people attend on Friday funeral of a local militant, killed along with his JeM affiliate, in Baramulla district on Thursday.
Police identified two militants killed in the encounter with government forces at Kandi, Kalantera area of Baramullah as Aamir Rasool Kaboo of Arampora Sopore and his body was handed to his family for last rites late on Thursday night. A police spokesman identified the second slain militant as Pak national namely Sabir Bhai who was later buried at Gantamullah area on Thursday midnight.
The officer said that both the militants were affiliated with Jaish-e-Muhammad militant outfit.
According to the police records, both the slain were affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant outfit and were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of crimes including attack on government establishments and civilian atrocities, a police spokesman said.
“They were involved in conspiring and executing many militant attacks in the area. Several crime cases were registered against both the militant,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, thousands of people on Friday attended the funeral prayers of the slain militant.
Reports reaching here said that thousands of people assembled at Aamir’s home at Arampora early Friday morning to take part in his last rites.
The mourners raised pro-freedom slogans as they marched towards martyrs’ graveyard where Aamir was laid to rest.
Aamir and his non local associate were killed in the gunfight with the government forces in Kalantra yesterday. Three soldiers, including an officer of Major rank, were wounded in the firefight.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown is being observed across the Sopore town and its adjacent areas.