5 More Militants Killed In Shopian, 14 In Four Days 

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KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: After a day’s break, five militants, including district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a fierce gunfight with government forces in Shopian on Wednesday, taking the number of militants killed in the gunfights with armed forces in the last four days to 14 in the volatile south Kashmir district.

“On the basis of a ‘specific input’ suggesting presence of militants, the Special Operations Group (SOG) of police, army’s 44 RR and the personnel of CRPF 178 battalion laid a cordon around a huge apple orchard in Sugoo area of the district in the early hours of Wednesday, reports said. When the search team started advances, the militants present in the orchard opened fire upon them in a bid to escape from their dragnet.

The government forces, reports quoting officials said returned the fire setting off a fierce gun-battle. In the ensuing encounter, a police spokesperson here said, five militants associated with Hizb and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed. Among the slain militants is a district commander of Hizb.

“Their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The identification and affiliation of the killed militants is being ascertained,” police spokesperson said.

The police spokesperson said that the operation was conducted ‘professionally’ and no collateral damage occurred.

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

The police spokesperson said that a case under relevant sections of law stands registered in Police Station Zainapora and investigation has been initiated.

Meanwhile, villagers told Kashmir Observer that the state forces used drones during the operation to track down the militants. They said police also made loudspeaker announcements in the area asking people to stay indoors due to Covid-19 pandemic, after the area witnessed clashes between protesters and government forces in Sugoo and Hendhama villages.

The government forces, they said burst tear smoke shells and fired pellets to disperse the stone pelting youth. The clashes, according to the locals continued for several hours.

Pertinently, this is the third deadly encounter in Shopian district in the last four days.

On Sunday, five Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including a commander, were killed in a gun-battle in the district’s Reban area. A day later, four more militants of the group were killed in similar encounter in Pinjora area.

Abducted Man Found Dead

Meanwhile Police on Wednesday recovered body of a man, who was abducted by unidentified gunmen in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday.

Body of Tariq Ahmad Paul was recovered today at Turkwangam area of the district with ‘torture marks’, a day after he was abducted from Pinjora village, reports said. Paul’s house was damaged during Monday’s encounter in which four Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed.

A police officer said that a case has been registered and further investigations started in this matter.

 

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