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3 LeT militants killed at Mujgund, identified

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Hajin’s teen militant among the slain

A security force personnel walks through the shells of bullets fired during an encounter at Mujgund in the outskirts of Srinagar. In the backdrop are seen the houses that were damaged during the encounter. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, Dec 09: Three militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) killed in an 18-hour gunfight on the outskirts of Srinagar were identified by the police Sunday.

As reported earlier, government forces had launched a search operation at Mujgund area in the Srinagar outskirts on Bandipora road on Saturday. The operation turned into an encounter after the militants fired on the search party, a police spokesperson said.

An Army soldier sustained injuries and was shifted to hospital for treatment. Three militants were killed and the bodies have been retrieved from the site of the encounter that ended on Sunday morning after some 18 hours, the spokesperson said.

The spokesman identified the slain militants as Mudasir Rashid Parray and Saqib Bilal Sheikh - both residents of Hajin Bandipora.

“From the material evidence collected, one militant is learnt to be a Pakistani identified as Ali,” he said.

Parray was reportedly 14 years of age and one of the youngest militants killed in the valley. His gun-wielding picture had surfaced on the social media earlier this week, after he had gone missing from his house in August.

However, the police said Parray's age could not be confirmed.

"We do not know if he was 14 or 16, though he looked young. There is no way to confirm whether he was the youngest militant ever or not," a senior police official said.

The trio was affiliated with proscribed outfit LeT, said the spokesman.

“In the initial exchange of fire, one army man was injured who is admitted in hospital. Three civilians also sustained injuries as the area was in open and the injured were shifted to hospital for medical treatment. They are stated to be stable,” the spokesman said.

Police spokesman said the slain militants were wanted by the law for their complicity in militancy incidents.

Ali, according to police records, spokesman said was involved in several militancy incidents and many cases were registered against him including for the attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities. “He was involved in recruitments in Hajin and Sumbal areas of Bandipora,” spokesman said.

Huge quantity of arms and ammunition including rifles were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other cases, spokesman said.

Several residential areas were also damaged during the gunfight. Locals say they were razed by the government forces while fighting the militants.

Meanwhile, clashes between groups of youth and government forces also erupted in the area. Authorities also suspended mobile Internet services in the city as a precautionary measure, a police official said.

Police also appealed the people to not venture inside the encounter zone as such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials,” spokesman said.

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