5 Militants, Soldier Killed In 17 Hr Long Pulwama Gunfight

KO File Photo By Abid Bhat

Ajaz Ali

Srinagar: Five Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including a district commander, and an army man were killed in a firefight in Rajpora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police said on Friday.

Acting on specific input about the presence of militants, police and army’s 44 RR assisted by paramilitary CRPF men laid a siege around Hanjin village of Rajpora on Thursday night and launched a cordon and search operation (CASO), a police spokesperson said Friday. During the search operation, he said, the civilians were evacuated to safer places and the militants were given an opportunity to surrender.

“However they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which retaliated leading to an encounter. Due to darkness the operation was suspended however the cordon remained intact throughout the night,” the police spokesperson said.

On Friday morning, he said, repeated announcements were again made by the search team asking the holed-up militants to surrender. But the militants, he said, fired on a joint team setting off a renewed gun-battle.

“In the initial exchange of fire two army men received gunshot injuries and were evacuated to hospital, however one among the injured succumbed to injuries,” the police spokesperson said.

The slain soldier has been identified as Havildar Kashiray B.

The police spokesperson said that in the ensuing encounter, five militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the spot. He identified the slain militants as Lashkar’s district commander Nishaz Hussain Lone alias Khitab of Tral, Danish Manzoor Sheikh of Kakapora, Amir Wagay of Hanjan Payeen, Mehran Manzoor of Jamalata Srinagar and a Pakistani militant Abu Rehan alias Tawheed.

He said that the slain LeT commander was active since 2018 and all the killed militants were part of groups involved in many militancy cases and civilian atrocities.

The police spokesperson also claimed recovery of arms; ammunition and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter, including an SLR rifle which was snatched by militants in the year 2016 from guard of TV tower in Lower Munda

“All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes,” he said.

“In this connection police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any,” he added.

The police spokesperson also quoted IGP Kashmir congratulating Police and central forces for the big success and conducting successful operation in professional manner.

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