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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Militant who killed soldier among 4 dead in J&K gunfights

The three militants holed up there fired as the search operation was going on. The security forces retaliated, leading to an exchange of fire in which the three were killed.

india Updated: May 19, 2019 02:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
People gather at the broken house where Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in Panzgam area of Pulwama
People gather at the broken house where Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in Panzgam area of Pulwama(ANI Photo)
         

Four militants were killed in two separate gunfights with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, a police spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said three Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants were killed in a pre-dawn operation in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Another militant was killed in Sopore town of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the spokesperson added.

He said security forces launched a cordon and search operation based on an input in the early hours of Saturday at Panzgam in Pulwama’s Awantipora.

The three militants holed up there fired as the search operation was going on. The security forces retaliated, leading to an exchange of fire in which the three were killed. The militants were identified as Showkat Dar, Irfan War, and Muzaffar Sheikh.

“Showkat Dar was part of a group of militants involved in killing of Army jawan Aurangzeb last year,” the police spokesman said. Militants abducted and killed Aurangzeb while he was on his way home for Eid from his camp in South Kashmir’s Shadimarg in June 2018.

The spokesman cited police records and said Dar had a long history of terror activities.

“He was involved in planning and executing a series of terror attacks in the area and many other civilian atrocities. He was also involved in the killing of a policeman Aqib Ahmad Wagay last year. Several terror crime cases were registered against him,” he said.

Irfan War and Muzaffar Sheikh, the police said, were involved in several terror attacks on security establishments in the area. “Several criminal cases were registered against Sheikh for terrorist activities,” a police statement said.

Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the gunfight site, the police spokesman said.

The police have registered a case and the material has been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation, he added.

“It was a clean operation and no collateral damage took place during the exchange of fire,” the police spokesman said

In the second operation, at Hathlangoo village in north Kashmir’s Sopore area, the police said one militant was killed.

While the body of the slain militant has been retrieved from the site of the gun battle, the police said the identity and affiliation of the militant is yet to be ascertained. He said incriminating material, including ammunition, was recovered from the site of the encounter.

In another operation at Dehrna in Anantnag district, some unidentified militants managed to escape following an exchange of fire. The operation was later terminated.

Over the past three days, five militants, two soldiers and a civilian have been killed in two different operations in South Kashmir. Nine people, including three Jaish-e-Mohammed militants, two soldiers and two civilians, were killed on Thursday last.This was one of the worst single day causalities since the February 14 car bomb attack in Pulwama in which 40 paramilitary troopers were killed. The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack.

India responded to Pulwama attack with an air strike on a terror camp in Pakistan.

First Published: May 19, 2019 02:50 IST