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2 more bodies recovered; toll in Shopian shooting mounts to 6

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Srinagar, Mar 5: The toll in Sunday’s shooting in Shopian district of south Kashmir rose to six after two more bodies were recovered today, police said.

“The body of one militant identified as Ashiq Hussain Bhat of Lashkar-e-Tabia (LeT) militant outfit, was recovered today from an orchard at Saidpora area. He was missing since November 13, 2017,” said a police spokesman.

He said the preliminary investigation suggests the death of the said militant was a part of the chain of incident at Pahnoo Shopian. “Further investigation is on.”

On Sunday, one militant and three civilians — who the army claimed were over-ground workers (OGWs) of militants — were killed in army firing after a mobile vehicle check post (MVCP) of Rashtriya Rifles was fired at.

The body of another civilian, Gowhar Ahmad Lone, 24, was also found on Monday morning, some 250 metres away the gunfight site.

Lone, according to GNS news agency, was found dead behind the steering wheel of his car (JK01Q- 1723).

Last night, an Army spokesman claimed that a militant and three over-ground workers of militants were killed in retaliatory action by army following an attack on Army’s Mobile Vehicle Check Post (MVCP) at Pahnoo.

However, the villagers refuted the Army claim and said the three slain men were civilians and not OGWs.

“On Sunday evening militants attacked army vehicle in Pahnoo village. The army in retaliation killed a militant and later shot dead three civilians who were traveling in a car,” locals claim.

They were identified as Suhail Khaleel Wagay of Pinjoora, Muhammad Shahid Khan of Malikgund and Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay of Trenz, all from Shopian district.

The slain militant, according to IGP Kashmir, was identified as Aamir Ahmad Malik of Harmain, Shopian.

Meanwhile, authorities today imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar city to prevent protests called by the separatists against the killings.

Clashes also erupted at several places in Kashmir valley between protesters and the government forces.

Mobile Internet service was snapped in twin districts of Shopian and Pulwama in south Kashmir while high-speed service was suspended across the Valley.


JeM militant killed in Lethpora

Srinagar, Mar 05: Army on Monday claimed to have killed Jaish-e-Mohammed militant Mufti Waqas during an encounter in south Kashmir’s Awantipora.

Acting on a specific intelligence input, a small team of the Army along with the Special Operations Group of police cordoned off the Hatwar area of Lethpora in Awantipur and carried out a “surgical attack” on a house, the Army said.

Jaish-e-Mohammed’s operational commander Waqas, “the mastermind of the terror attack on the Sunjawan Army camp in Jammu and the suicide attack on a CRPF camp in south Kashmir’s Lethpora, was killed in the surgical operation,” it said.

There were no civilian casualties or collateral damage, the Army said.

According to officials, Waqas, a Pakistani national, who had infiltrated into the Kashmir Valley in 2017, was functioning as the operational commander of the militant outfit and had sent ‘fidayeens’ (suicide attackers) from Tral in south Kashmir to Jammu where they had carried out the strike on the Army camp on February 10.

Five Army men, including two junior commissioned officers (JCOs), and the father of a soldier were killed in the attack by the militants who struck at the sprawling camp of the 36 Brigade of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JKLI). Three militants were also killed in subsequent action.

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