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ASI killed in encounter in Kashmir

Assistant sub-inspector of police Kafeel Ahmad was killed and three other policemen injured in a gunfight between security forces and militants in the North Kashmir town of Sopore, nearly 50 km from here, on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2014 19:03 IST
Toufiq Rashid

Assistant sub-inspector of police Kafeel Ahmad was killed and three other policemen injured in a gunfight between security forces and militants in the North Kashmir town of Sopore, nearly 50 km from here, on Tuesday.

Police sources said the security forces had cordoned off the Chankhan area in Sopore after receiving intelligence that some militants were hiding in a house. Police had confirmed the presence of three militants in the town.


However, the hiding militants fired at the security forces, injuring four policemen. Ahmad succumbed to injuries at a hospital, a police spokesperson said.

While sources said the militants managed to break the cordon and escape, the spokesperson refused to confirm the escape.

"Kafeel was a very brave soldier who was always in the forefront while fighting militants. He was posted in Sopore in 2007 and was injured thrice in the line of duty. It a loss," said a police source, who wished not to be named.

Kashmir inspector general of police AG Mir said police had information about the presence of top Lashkar commander Muzammil, alias Muza Moulvi.

"The militant escaped when the cordon was being laid. Our men were injured, and one was killed when the militants started hurling grenades as they escaped," he said. Moulvi, according to Mir, was a category A-plus militant.

This is the second time in three months that militants managed to escape after police acted on information about their presence. In October last year, Pakistan militant Abu Hurera managed to escape a police cordon in the heart of Srinagar.

Sopore is considered to be bastion of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, as the separatist sentiment is strong here. On Monday, the town remembered the alleged massacre of 57 civilians at the hands of Border security Force personnel in 1993.

Nearly 300 houses and shops were reportedly set afire by the troopers, who claimed that they had fired in retaliation to militants' fire, on January 6, 1993.