Mir Zeeshan

3 militants, soldier killed in Tral, Redwani encounters

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Pulwama, Nov 27: Three militants and a soldier were killed while two soldiers suffered injuries in two separate encounters in south Kashmir’s Kulgam and Pulwama districts on Tuesday.

In the Kulgam encounter, two militants of the Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed, while the one killed in Pulwama belonged to the Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, an ISIS offshoot, police said.

Government forces had launched a cordon and search operation in the Redwani area of Kulgam district in south Kashmir around midnight, a police official said.

He said the operation was launched after receiving information about the presence of militants in the area.

The official said as the searches were going on, militants fired on the forces, who retaliated.

Two militants were killed in the ensuing gunfight while three government forces’ personnel were injured, he said.

One of the injured soldiers succumbed at a hospital. He has been identified as Sapper Prakash Jadhav of 01 RR, the official said. The official identified the injured personnel as 163 Bn CRPF’s Sub-Inspector Amit Kumar and Constable Avnish.

He said arms, ammunition and other incriminating material were seized from the encounter site.

The two militants killed in Kulgam were affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Taiba. They have been identified as Ajaz Ahmad Makroo, son of Late Ghulam Rasool Makroo, resident of Qaimoh, and Waris Ahmad Malik, son of Bashir Ahmad, resident of Arwani, the official said.

As per police records, both the killed militants were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of militancy-related incidents, including attack on security establishments and “civilian atrocities,” a police spokesman said.

He said Makroo was a close associate of LeT commander Naveed Jat and Azad Dada.

In another operation at Hafoo Reshipora area of Tral in Pulwama district, a militant was killed in an encounter with government forces, the official said.

The militant killed in the Tral encounter has been identified as Shakir Hassan Dar, deputy chief of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind headed by Zakir Musa, the spokesman said.

Dar was involved in militancy since 2015, he said.

A police official said that cordon and search operation was launched in Reshipora village after receiving credible inputs about the presence of militants in the area.

As the forces laid siege around a cluster of houses, militants hiding in one of the houses open fire on government forces which triggered an encounter, he added.

According to locals of Reshipora village, the gunfight started in the early morning around 7 am which continued till 11 am, and led to killing of Shakir Ahmad Dar, son of Ghulam Hassan Dar, resident of Ratsun village of Tral.

Shakir, police said had joined militant ranks on 14th April in 2015 with Hizbul Mujahedeen militant outfit and later switched to Ansar Ghazwut-ul-Hind when his commander Zakir Musa separated from Hizbul Mujahedeen and formed his own outfit in May 2017.

“Shakir is survived by parents, two elder brothers and two elder sisters. He was studying in 9th standard when he had fled home and joined militant ranks,” said a local resident.

Meanwhile, thousands of people participated in Dar’s last rites and four back to back rounds of funeral prayers were held to accommodate huge rush of mourners. Locals said few of his associates also appeared in the funeral and offered gun-salute to their fallen colleague.

Pertinently, another cordon-and-search-operation was going on in Pinglish area of Tral.

An army patrol was attacked by the militants in the area last evening.

Government forces also resorted to aerial firing and tear-gas shelling to break up protests during the search operation in Pinglish.

Witnesses said that intense clashes rocked the area after youth took to streets to disrupt the search operation launched by the forces in the area.

He said that youth took to streets and pelted the forces deployments with stones. The forces reportedly resorted to aerial firing and tear-gas shelling to chase away the protesters.

As per routine, authorities once again suspended the Internet service in the area soon after the gunfight broke out today morning.

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