4 Militants Killed, 3 Soldiers Injured In Pulwama Gunfight

SRINAGAR — Four militants were killed and three soldiers and policemen in a gunfight with government forces at Lassipora area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Monday.

Reports said that a joint team of army's 44 RR, SOG and CRPF laid a siege at Lassipora village late Sunday night.

"On a credible input a-cordon-and-search operation was launched at Lassipora area by Police and security forces,” a police spokesman said in a statement issued here.  

During searches, militants fired upon the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter, the spokesman said.

"In the ensuing encounter, four militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The slain have been identified as Zaffar Paul son of Mohammad Ahsan resident of Dangerpora Shopian, Tauseef Ahmad Yattoo son of Abdul Aziz resident of Gudbug Pulwama, Aqib Ahmad Kumar son of Bashir Ahmad resident of Hellow Shopian and Mohammad Shafi Bhat son of Ghulam Mohammad resident Sedow Shopian," the spokesman said, adding that it was a combined group of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and LeT.

The slain militants were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of attacks including the attack on security establishments and “civilian atrocities”, the spokesman said.

In the initial exchange of fire three army soldiers and one policeman sustained injuries. They have been hospitalized for the treatment of their injuries and are stated to be stable, the spokesman said.

Pertinently with the efforts of police and government forces, it was a clean operation and no collateral damage happened during the encounter, the spokesman said.

"As per police records, Tauseef had a long history of crime records and several crime cases were registered against him including FIR No. 281/2016, 509/2016, 19/2018 registered in P/S Pulwama and 33/2018 registered at P/S Litter. He was involved in conspiring and executing many attacks in the area," the spokesman said.

Similarly, Zaffar was involved in many crime cases which include FIR No. 290/2017, 307/2018, 13/2019, which were registered against him in Police Station Shopian. Aqib Ahmad and Mohammad Shafi were also involved in crimes in the area, the spokesman said.

Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror cases, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, after conducting all medico formalities, the bodies of the slain were handed over to respective families for last rites, a police officer said.

Thousands of people attended the funeral of the slain at their respective native villages and were later buried amid pro-freedom slogans.  

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