4 More Hizb Militants Killed, Shopian Toll in 24 Hrs 9

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Photo: Shah Junaid

Srinagar: Four more Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in a fierce gun-battle with the government forces in Shopian district on Monday, a day after five militants of the same group were killed in a similar encounter with the state forces in the south Kashmir district on Sunday.

Around midnight, special operations group (SOG) of police and 44 RR of army, assisted by paramilitary CRPF 14th battalion laid a siege around village Pinjora of Shopian and started a search operation amid intelligence reports suggesting presence of militants in the area, police said today. When the joint team intensified search operation, the militants present in the village opened fire upon them in a bid to break the cordon and escape from the besieged area.

The joint team, police said returned the fire setting off a massive gun-battle. In the ensuing encounter, four militants associated with Hizbul Mujahideen were killed.

Police said that the bodies of militants have been sent to Baramulla for last rites and asked the families of the militants to identify the bodies. If identified, police said, the families can associate in burial and last rites as per religious practices.

“Incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes,” a police spokesperson said.

He said that a case under relevant sections of law stands registered in Police Station Shopian and investigation has been initiated. Police also urged the locals to cooperate till the area is completely sanitised and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any.

Meanwhile, the residents said that three houses also suffered damages in the gunfight that lasted for over four-hours. A cow was also killed in the exchange of fire.

According to the locals, all the slain militants were residents of various areas of the Shopian district.

This is the second encounter in Shopian district in the past 24 hours.

Five Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including a commander, were killed in a gun battle in the district’s Reban area on Sunday.

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