Five militants killed in encounter with security forces in Kashmir’s Kulgam district
Security forces killed five militants belonging to HM and LeT in an encounter that raged for six hours in South Kashmir’s Kellam Devsar in Kulgam district on Sunday.
The encounter broke out at 6 am after a joint team of Police, Rashtriya Rifles and the CRPF launched a cordon and search operation following a tip off about the presence of militants in the area. The fire fight ended at 12 noon as the security neutralised all five militants.
“Since they were locals, we asked them to surrender. They did not pay heed and opened fire after which we retaliated,” Kulgam SSP, Harmeet Singh Mehta said, adding that five militants were killed and five AK47s and ammunition were recovered.
A police spokesman said that all the militants were locals part of a combined group of proscribed terror outfits Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba and identified them as Waseem Ahmad Rather, Aqib Nazir Mir, Parvaiz Ahmad Bhat , Idrees Ahmad Bhat and Zahid Ahmad Parray.
Security forces initially suspected two to three militants were hiding in the village, about 100 km south of Srinagar. Authorities suspended internet n the area after the encounter started.
The spokesman said that Waseem, Aqib and Parvaiz were involved in the killings of a civilian Mohd Iqbal Kawaq and a local army personnel Mukhtar Ahmad.
“This group of terrorists was also involved in various grenade attack incidents across Anantnag and Kulgam districts for which cases stand registered in concerned police stations,” the spokesman said.
There were clashes near encounter site between troopers and locals who tried to break the cordon.
Authorities suspended internet in the area after the encounter started but there were clashes near encounter site between forces and stone pelting locals. Forces responded with tear gas and pellets.
Block medical officer, Kulgam, Rafi Ahmad Salati said that some 20 persons were injured by pellets. “While eight were treated at district hospital Kulgam, six each were taken to Anantnag hospital and Kellam health centre. The injured are stable,” he said.
Last week, Army, in a brief encounter, had killed top Laskhar commander in neighbouring Pulwama district.