2 Militants Killed In Srinagar Encounter

Locals gather around the house damaged during Friday’s gunfight in Eidgah area of Srinagar | KO Photo, Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Two local militants, who according to police were involved in a series of grenade attacks and the killings of at least five security personnel, were killed in an encounter with government forces in Eidgah area of the city on Friday.

According to a police spokesperson, police and CRPF personnel launched a joint cordon and search operation (CASO) in Alamdar Colony, Danmar area of Eidgah on the basis of specific information about the presence of militants. During the search operation, he said, as the presence of militants got ascertained they were given repeated opportunities to surrender.

“However, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter in the wee hours,” the police spokesperson said.

In the ensuing encounter, he said, two militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They have been identified as Irfan Ahmad Sofi and Bilal Ahmad Bhat, both residents of Natipora, Srinagar and active since Dec last year.

The police spokesperson said that recently self claimed outfit TRF shared on social media that the militants Irfan & Bilal had left TRF and joined ISJK.

The slain militants, he said, were involved in civilian “atrocities” and several attacks on police and security personnel, including the killing of PSO of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader at Natipora on December 14 last year, 2 CRPF men at Lawaypora in March this year, Constable Javid Ahmad near his Saidpora residence last month besides the killing of Inspector Parvez Ahmad at Menganwari, Nowgam while he was on his way to offer prayers at a local Masjid.

“They were also involved in the killing of a civilian Umer Nazir Bhat at his shop in Main Chowk Habba Kadal,” he said.

Giving more details, the police spokesperson said that the killed militants were also involved in a series of grenade and petrol bomb attacks on police and security personnel in the City, including the attack on a joint party of CRPF and police in Barbarshah last month in which a civilian was killed and three others injured.

Both the killed militants, he said, have been instrumental in motivating and recruiting the youth to join “terror folds” in Srinagar and its adjoining areas.

“Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including 01 AK-47 rifle, 01 pistol and 04 grenades were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes,” the police spokesperson said.

He also quoted IGP Kashmir as congratulating the joint forces for the big success that led to the elimination of “two most wanted terrorists” who were wanted by the law for their involvement in several “terror crime” cases.

IGP also said that during this year, 78 militants have been neutralized in Kashmir valley, including 39 from LeT and other outfits like HM, Al-Badr, JeM & AuGH.

“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.

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