Kreeri Gun-Battle Ends After 2 Days;  5 Security Men, 3 Militants Killed

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Soldiers walking towards encounter site- KO file pic

Srinagar: The two-day long encounter between militants and the joint team of police, CRPF and army in the orchards of Kreeri in Baramulla district ended on Tuesday, consuming eight lives in all—three of them militants including two Lashker-e-Taiba commanders, two army soldiers, as many paramilitary CRPF men besides a policeman.

Having been suspended on Monday night, the firefight resumed at first light today (Tuesday), leading to the killing of the trapped militant, Usman reportedly a Pakistani national.

Also, one among the two soldiers succumbed to the injuries, taking the fatality toll of soldiers in the gunfight to two.

“Two soldiers who were critically injured succumbed to their injuries,” Army spokesperson Lt. Col Rajesh Kalai said. He said two AK rifles and three pistols were recovered from the encounter site.

“Conspirator Sajad alias Haider and one foreign militant Usman of killing BJP leader late Waseem Bari, his father and brother have been killed,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar said.

“Haider was also instrumental in recruiting youth into militant folds and was involved in several attacks on Police, security forces, civilians and political workers,” he said. The search operation in the area is in process, the official said

The encounter had ensued after a joint team of Police, CRPF and army launched a cordon-and-search-operation following the attack in the morning in which two CRPF men and an SPO were killed.

“At about 0915hrs on Monday, (militants) fired indiscriminately upon a joint naka party of Police and security forces from nearby orchards at Nawan mode Kreeri area of Baramulla,” a police spokesperson said. In the militant attack, he said, two CRPF personnel of 119 battalion and a police personnel (SPO) sustained grievous gunshot injuries.

“The injured were evacuated to nearby hospital for the treatment of their injuries. However, all the three injured personnel succumbed to their injuries,” he had said.

The police spokesperson had identified them as SPO Muzaffar Ali of District Police Baramulla, Constables Lokesh Sharma and Khurshid Khan of 119 battalion CRPF.

“In the initial retaliatory firing one militant got injured.”

He said the militants were engaged till the area was completely cordoned off with the help of reinforcement and the search operation was thereafter jointly launched by Police, 29RR and CRPF. “In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed on Monday.”

Two Army personnel also sustained gunshot injuries and were shifted to hospital where one among them died yesterday. The militants who were killed yesterday included Sajad Ahmad Mir alias Haider alias Jaja of Brath Kalan Sopore (LeT Chief of North Kashmir) and Anayatullah Mir of Andergam Pattan, affiliated with LeT.

Addressing reporters on Monday, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh rated Haider among top ten militants in Kashmir and top most in north Kashmir.

“He had joined militancy in the 2016 winters and used to work on same pattern as that of Burhan Wani. He was active in north Kashmir. If Burhan Wani turned many to become militants in South Kashmir, he spared no efforts in north Kashmir. So far we have arrested at least 20 militants recruited by him apart from many Over Ground Workers (OGWs),” Singh had said. (GNS)

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