3 Militants Escape Army Dragnet in Budgam, 1 Killed

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 SRINAGAR — A militant affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) was killed in an encounter with government forces in Nowgam area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on pre-dawn hours of Friday.

Reports said that a joint team of army’s 50 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation at Gund Checkpora, Kanipora, Nowgam late Thursday night.

A police spokesman said that the CASO was launched following credible inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.

 “During the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the spokesman said.

In the ensuing encounter, one militant was killed and the body was retrieved from the site of encounter along with arms and ammunition, he said.

Sources said that the militant was killed during initial phase of gunfight when the group of four militants opened indiscriminate fire and lobbed hand grenades on forces during the cordon. Three of his associates while taking advantage of darkness managed to escape from the spot.

Meanwhile, an official said that after conducting all legal formalities, the body of the slain was taken to PCR Srinagar for identification.

A police spokesman said that from the incriminating materials recovered from the site of encounter the slain has been identified as a foreigner from Pakistan namely Zarar.

 “As per police records, the slain was affiliated with proscribed militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and was wanted by law for his complicity in militant crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities,” the spokesman said.

Official sources said that the body of the slain was late Friday evening shifted to Boniyar Baramulla for burial.

Meanwhile, a top security officer said that forces have been asked to step-up vigil and remain in a state of alertness to thwart any possible attack especially along the highway and any installation in Srinagar. 

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