5 Militants Killed In Twin South Kashmir Encounters

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KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Five Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in two separate encounters with the government forces in twin districts of Pulwama and Kulgam in south Kashmir, police said Tuesday.

Acting on a specific input about the presence of militants, army’s 50 RR, police and the personnel of CRPF 183 battalion laid a siege around Hakripora area of Pulwama and launched a cordon and search operation, a police spokesperson said. The militants hiding in the village, he said opened fire upon the search team after rejecting the surrender offer.

The search team retaliated to the fire triggering off an encounter. In the exchange of fire, three militants were killed and their bodies retrieved from the site of encounter,” the police spokesperson said.

He claimed that the killed militants were involved in Monday’s attack in Pulwama in which a CRPF man was injured.

“The identification of the militants is being ascertained. However as per the reliable sources and technical input they were affiliated with LeT,” he added.

The police spokesperson claimed to have recovered incriminating materials including arms and ammunition from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials, he said have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes.

“The bodies of the militants shall be sent to Handwara for burial after completion of all medico-legal formalities. In case any family claims the killed militants to be their kith or kin, they can come forward for their identification at PCR Kashmir Srinagar,” the police spokesperson said.

In another operation that started in Melhora area of Shopian district on Monday evening, the police spokesperson said 2 militants were killed.

State forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area Monday evening following specific inputs about the presence of militants there, he said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants fired upon a forces party, who retaliated.

“One militant was killed in the initial exchange of fire between the two sides last evening, while another militant was killed when the operation was resumed in the wee hours today,” the police spokesperson said.

He identified the militants as Towseef Ahmad Khanday and Umar Thoker from Kulgam, both affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.

“Both of them were involved in recent attacks in Kulgam-Shopian areas,” the police spokesperson said.

He said that keeping in view the prevailing pandemic, the bodies of the militants shall be sent to Baramulla for burial after completion of all medico-legal formalities.

“The nearest family members of the killed militants shall be allowed to participate in the last rites. In this connection a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated,” he said.

“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” he added.

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