Valley News Desk

Ops on in Kupwara woods, searches intensified, says police; top JeM commander, 25 day-old Hizb militant among slain, Jaish militant was involved in killing of 5 CRPF men at Lethpora in 2017, says DGP Singh

Srinagar , May 16 (KNO) : It was a day of encounters in Kashmir on Thursday as guns roared on both sides from in twin restive districts of south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian claiming the lives of eight persons—six militants, a civilian and a soldier. Among the slain militants, one was identified as the top commander of Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit who was killed in Pulwama gunfight and a 25-days-old Hizbul Mujahideen militant killed in Shopian encounter, top official told KNO.

Pulwama encounter: Acting swiftly on the basis of a credible input about the presence of militants presence in a house, joint teams of police and the army laid a siege in Dalipora area of Pulwama district before the pre-dawn prayers.

A police officer told KNO that joint team of forces including army’s 55 RR and SOG Pulwama cordoned off Dalipora and when the suspected house was being zeroed in, the hiding militants fired upon government forces triggering an encounter.

“The militants opened heavy fire on the forces and in the initial exchange of fire an army soldier and a civilian were hit by bullets. Both were evacuated to the hospital where they succumbed,” a police officer said. “Amid intense exchange of fire, three militants were killed in the gunfight among them one has been identified as a top commander of Jaish-e-Muhammad Khalid Bhai, a resident of Pakistan.”

Talking to reporters, Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said that three militants were killed in the operation and one of the slain militant was involved in the attack in which five CRPF men were killed in 2017 at Lethpora, in Pulwama. “A civilian and a soldier were also killed in the gunfight,” he said. Police identified the slain soldier as Sandeep and civilian as Rayees Ahmed Dar.

The two local slain militants were identified as Naseer Pandith of Kareemabad and Umar Mir of Shopian. Shopian gunfight: Barely a few hours after the Pulwama gunfight, another encounter broke out in Shopian district of South Kashmir. Police said that three militants have been killed and an army soldier was injured in an encounter with forces at Handew area of Shopian district.

Police said that the encounter broke out after a joint team of army’s 44 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon and search operations this afternoon at Handew village. A police officer told KNO that three militants were killed in the gunfight and an army soldier sustained bullet injuries during the operation.

The injured soldier was taken to nearby army’s health facility for treatment where from he was shifted to army’s 92 base hospital Badamibagh Srinagar, the officer said. The officer said that the bodies of the slain militants have been recovered along with arms and ammunition. The officer that the three slain were identified as Hizb module that include Shakir Ahmed Paul of Molu,Dangerpora, who had joined militancy 25-days back only and the other two were identified as Yawar Ahmed Dar of Bandpaho, Shopian, and Shakil Ahmed Dar of Tukroo, Shopian.

Another encounter raged in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district when forces exchanged fire with the group of militants hiding in dense Nutnusa woods. Official sources told KNO that Army had launched a massive search operation yesterday evening at Kandi forest area at Razdan nad in Kupwara after noticing suspicious movement.

They said that during the searches, Army intercepted few militants who had sneaked into this side and the contact was established this morning after which firefight ensued.

“The gunfire broke out when the army’s 47 RR along with the additional reinforcement has intensified the combing operation in the dense forests to trace out the hiding militants,” an army officer told KNO. “After the first contact, there was a lull throughout the day and the forces have intensified the searches as there are apprehensions that the group may have gone into upper reaches.”(KNO)

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