Aaqib Naik

4 more militants killed in Shopian encounter

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Toll reaches 5; civilian also killed in clashes,  scores injured

Shopian, Aug 04: Four more militants were killed in exchange of fire with government forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir, taking the number of militants killed in the overnight encounter to five.

A civilian was also killed and two dozen others injured in clashes following the gunfight.

“Four more terrorists have been killed in the operation at Kiloora in Shopian. One terrorist was killed last night,” an Army official said, adding the operation was still going on.

Jammu and Kashmir Police chief S.P. Vaid said four more bodies of militants were recovered from the encounter site Kiloora, Shopian, taking the toll to five.

DGP also said the militants are “learnt to be part of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit”.

The government forces had cordoned off the area last night following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants there and had started a search operation.

The search operation turned into an encounter after the militants fired upon the government forces, an official had said.

“As the forces approached the suspected house, the hiding militants opened fire, triggering an encounter,” he said, adding that one militant was killed in the initial exchange of fire while the bodies of four others were recovered Saturday morning.

The slain militants were identified as Arshad Ahmad of Ganowpora Balpora, Waqar Ahmad Sheikh of Malikgund, Aijaz Ahmad Paul of Lousdanew, Umar Malik of Malikgund and Arif Ahmad Mir from Yannar village of Pahalgam.

A civilian was killed and two dozen others injured in the forces’ action on protesters near the site of the gunfight and several other places of the district.

Hospital sources said at least 20 people were brought to District Hospital Shopian for treatment.

They said five injured were referred to a hospital in Srinagar for specialized treatment. One of the injured has been hit by a bullet in his shoulder while four others were hit by pellets.

In Ganowpora, a civilian was killed and two others injured after army opened fire on protesters who pelted them with stones.

Reports said that youth hurled stones on army-men soon after the funeral prayers of slain militant Arshad Ahmad.

The deceased youth, aged around 24, was identified as Bilal Ahmad Khan from Kral Check Pujo. At least nine injured civilians have been referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment.

An Army spokesman in Srinagar said that the civilian died in cross-fire.

“At around 1500 hours today, Army troops came under fire from militants near Ganawpura orchards. Army troops immediately retaliated. In the cross-fire, one civilian unfortunately got injured, who later succumbed to the injury,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, thousands of people took part in the funeral prayers of slain militants Umar Malik  and Waqar Ahmad Shiekh at their ancestral Malikgund village.

Militants also appeared in the funeral and offered gun-salute to their slain colleagues.

Reports said a group of 2-3 militants appeared on the podium where corpse of Malik was placed and fired in the air as a mark of respect to their slain associate.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Naveed Jatt, who had fled from police custody early this year, also made an appearance at the funeral.

Photographs of Jatt offering a gun salute to slain colleagues at their funeral in Malikgund village have surfaced on social media.

Jatt escaped from police custody on February 06 while he was being taken to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital here for a medical examination. Two policemen were killed in a shootout at the hospital.

Internet services were also suspended in Shopian district of south Kashmir today following the killing of five militants in Kiloora village.

Meanwhile, over 30 persons, including police officers, were injured during clashes in Yannar village of Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Saturday.

Reports said that clashes broke out in Yannar village after the news of death of a local militant Arif Ahmad Mir reached there.

They said that youth pelted the government forces with stones, who retaliated by firing tear gas and pellets, resulting in injuries to over 30 persons, including police officers.

A health official said that 20 injured are being treated at PHC Sallar while the rest were shifted to Seer, Srigufwara and District Hospital Anantnag.

He said that two with pellet injuries in eyes were referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment.

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