14 Year Old Among 5 Militants Killed In Twin Encounters In South Kashmir

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Srinagar- A fourteen year old boy who had joined militant ranks three days back was among five militants killed in two encounters in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Anantnag districts, police said on Sunday.

State forces were engaged in an exchange of fire with militants in Hadipora area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district. One militant was killed on Saturday.

Two more militants were killed in the operation at Hadipora on Sunday, a police official said.

Police said one of the slain militants identified as Faisal Gulzar Ganaie was ‘newly recruited’ and state forces made ‘sincere efforts’ to make him surrender.

“Parents also made appeals. But other militants didn’t let him surrender,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters.

Faisal belonged to village Chittergam Kalan as did other slain militant identified as Asif Ahmad Ganaie. One more militant killed during the encounter Ubaid Ahmad hailed from Gobowpora Arsh in the Shopian district.

A police official said one AK-47 rifle and a pistol was recovered from the site of the encounter.

Special Operations Group (SOG) of police, army’s 34 RR and CRPF personnel laid a siege around Hadipora area of Shopian on Saturday afternoon after receiving information about the presence of militants in an orchard, an official said. He said the search team came under fire from militants when they launched a combing operation in the area.

“The joint team returned the fire triggering off an encounter,” the official said.

Official sources said that a soldier was injured in the initial exchange of fire with the militants. The soldier, as per the report has been removed to the hospital for treatment and was stable.

Two militants were killed in another encounter at Semthan in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district of south Kashmir, a police official said.

He said the encounter began on Saturday after state forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area following inputs about the presence of militants there.

The exchange of fire went on till late evening and the state forces maintained a tight cordon of the area during the night to stop the militants from fleeing.

The gunfight resumed this morning and in the exchange of fire, two militants were killed, the official said.

The slain militants were identified as Towseef Ahmad Bhat and Aamir Hussain Ganie, both from Bijbehara and linked to the LeT, the police said.

Both of them were wanted in many militancy-related incidents including the killing of a Territorial Army soldier Mohammad Saleem Akhoon near his home in Goriwan Bijbehara on Friday. They were also wanted in the case of an attack on a CRPF party in which a CRPF jawan was killed, an official said.

According to police records, Bhat was active since 2017 and Ganie had joined the militant ranks in the year 2018.

Militants responsible for the killing of Army jawan have been killed within two days in Bijbehara encounter, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.

Arms and ammunition, including two AK series rifles, were recovered from the site.

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