Reyaz Rashid

Two militants killed in Handwara encounter

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Baramulla, Sep 11: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter with government forces in Kupwara district of north Kashmir Tuesday, police said.

Government forces launched a cordon and search operation in Galoora area of Handwara, in the north Kashmir district, early this morning following specific information about the presence of militants there, a police spokesman said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants fired upon the search party of the forces.

The government forces retaliated and killed two militants, the spokesman said, adding some arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of the encounter.

The spokesman identified the slain militants as Furqan Rashid Lone alias Adil and Liyaqat Ahmad Lone alias Sahaba alias Umar Khalid.

Both were affiliated with the LeT, he said.

The spokesman said Furqan, a resident of Shartpora area of Langate in Kupwara, was wanted in a number of cases.

Reports said that 18 years old Furqan was a student of 12th standard when he joined militant ranks some four months ago.

Liyaqat, a resident of Harwan area of Sopore in the neighbouring Baramulla district “had a long history of involvement in terror-related activities and was wanted in a number of criminal cases including kidnapping and rape of a minor local girl,” the spokesman said.

He said Liyaqat along with other LeT militants - Gani Khawaja, a resident of Kralgund and Majid Mir, a resident of Nowpora Sopore - was also involved in the murder of Hurriyat-G activist Hakim-ur-Rehman Sultani, a resident of Reshipora Bomai, who was shot dead on Saturday.

In the wake of encounter, authorities on Tuesday suspended the mobile Internet service in parts of Handwara while class-work was also suspended in Degree College Handwara and all higher secondary schools of Mawar and Langate zones as a “precautionary measure”.

Meanwhile, thousands of people later participated in the funeral prayers of slain militants at their native places in Harwan village in Sopore, and Langate area of Handwara.

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