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Four militants, associate killed in Kashmir’s Shopian and Awantipora

Two militants and an associate were killed in Shopian and two other militants were killed in Awantipora on Friday.

india Updated: May 31, 2019 20:58 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Army  troopers during an encounter against  militants at Dalipora in Pulawama earlier this month.
Army troopers during an encounter against militants at Dalipora in Pulawama earlier this month. (ANI)
         

Four militants and an associate were killed in two different encounters in Shopian and Awantipora in south Kashmir on Friday, police said.

Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants and a third individual, who police said went missing on Thursday afternoon and was allegedly an associate of the militants, were killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday.

Two other militants were killed in the evening in another encounter in Midoora area of Awantipora in Pulwama district. It was the sixth in Kashmir since Tuesday.

“Two terrorists were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The identities and affiliation of the killed terrorists is being ascertained… Citizens are requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials,” the police said in a press release about the Awantipora encounter.

The gunfight in Shopian had erupted in the morning after a joint party of police, army and CRPF launched a search operation in the orchards of Draggad-Sugan village of Shopian in the morning following inputs about presence of militants there.

A police spokesman said that during the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The exchange of fire continued intermittently during the day leading to killing of three individuals.

“In the ensuing encounter, two listed terrorists along with the other one who was part of this group were killed. Bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter and handed over to the legal heirs,” the spokesman said.

Also read: 1 killed, 80 injured in Valley clashes

The police, in a tweet, said that the third individual “is considered to be an active associate of this group.”

The slain men were identified as Abid Manzoor Magray alias Sajju Tiger and Bilal Ahmad Bhat, both residents of Pulwama while the third man was Jasim Rashid Shah, a resident of Malnar in Shopian.

The police said that the group was affiliated with the proscribed outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.

“Abid and Manzoor were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several terror crime cases were registered against them,” the spokesman said.

“Jasim, as per the records and inputs available with police coupled with the family version was missing since yesterday afternoon and was part of this group,” the police spokesman said.

Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were seized from the site of encounter.

Also read: 2 militants killed in Anantnag encounter

The encounter in Awantipora was is sixth in Kashmir since Tuesday in which six militants have been killed so far besides an alleged militant associate and a civilian.

Last week, security forces gunned down the Valley’s most wanted militant commander Zakir Musa, 25, who had formed Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind in south Kashmir.

The frequency of gunfights has increased in Kashmir valley has increased after the Lok Sabha elections. So has the number of militant deaths since May 10. There were just four encounters between the security forces and militants between April 11 when Baramulla voted in the first phase of general elections and May 6 when the polls ended in the Valley.

A total of 98 militants have been killed in various encounters across Kashmir so far this year.

First Published: May 31, 2019 20:58 IST

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