Aaqib Naik

Four militants, soldier killed in Shopian encounter

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Srinagar, Nov 20: Four Hizbul Mujahideen militants and an Army soldier belonging to a para unit were killed Tuesday in an encounter in Shopian district of south Kashmir.

Two soldiers were also injured in the encounter, officials said.

A police spokesman said government forces acting on a “credible input” about the presence of militants in Nadigam area of Shopian, launched a cordon and search operation in the early hours of Tuesday.

He said as the operation launched jointly by a team of Army’s 34RR, 23 PARA and SOG Shopian was going on, the militants hiding in the area opened fire on the search party of government forces.

“The fire was retaliated, leading to an encounter. In the initial exchange of fire, one Army soldier identified as H C Vijay of 23 Para sustained injuries and was evacuated to the hospital for medical treatment where he succumbed,” the spokesman said.

In the ensuing gunbattle, four militants were killed and their bodies retrieved from the site of encounter, he said.

The slain militants have been identified as Abid Nazir Chopan, Basharat Nengroo, Mehraj-ud-Din Najar and Malikzada Inam-ul-Haq, the spokesman said.

“The militants were affiliated with proscribed militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and were involved in attacks on security establishments and many other civilian atrocities in the area,” spokesman added.

The spokesman said incriminating material including huge quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter. Police have registered a case and initiated investigation in the matter.

Reports said three civilian girls were injured after government forces fired live ammunition and pellets at the protesters near the gunfight site.

The injured, according to local sources, were rushed to a Srinagar hospital for specialised treatment.

Meanwhile, the killings of four militants in Nadigam triggered clashes in Shopian and Pulwama towns.

Reports said that youth took to streets in Pulwama and Shopian after news of death of four militants spread in the area.

They said that the youth hurled stones at the government forces who responded by firing tear-gas shells.

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