Mir Zeeshan

First encounter of 2019: 3 militants killed in Tral

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Slain militants belonged to Hizb & Jaish: Police; clashes break out near encounter site

Photo/ Muneeb-Ul-Islam

Pulwama, Jan 03: Three militants of combined group of Hizbul Mujahedeen and Jaish-e-Muhammad outfits were killed on Thursday in an eight-hour-long gunfight in Gulshanpora village of Tral in south Kashmir's Pulwama district.

A police spokesperson said that government forces launched cordon and search operation in Gulshanpora village of Tral after receiving credible inputs about the presence of some militants there.

He said that as searches in the area were initiated, a search party came under militant fire."The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight in which three militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of gunfight," he said.

Three soldiers were injured during the encounter among whom one is said to be in a critical condition with a head injury.

A Srinagar-based Army spokesman confirmed that the soldier wounded in a gunfight with the militants in Tral is under treatment. “News in some sections of the media of a soldier being killed is incorrect,” he said.

A police spokesman identified the slain militants as Shakoor Ahmad Parray alias Jaffar, son of Ghulam Nabi Parray, resident of Laribal Tral; Tawseef Ahmad Thoker alias Abu Talha, son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Thoker, and Zubair Ahmad Bhat alias Abu Huraira, son of Bashir Ahmad Bhat - both residents of Chursoo Awantipora.

He said the slain militants were part of a combined group of JeM and Hizb. "As per police records, Zubair was affiliated with proscribed outfit JeM while Zubair and Tawseef were affiliated with Hizb," he said in a statement.

According to a local resident of Chersoo, Tawseef Ahmad, son of a retired government teacher had completed his M.Sc in Mathematics. He said another slain militant Zubair Ahmad, before joining militants, used to work in bandsaw machine of his family where they manufacture cricket bats.

The bodies of the slain militants were handed to their families after medico-legal formalities, police said.

Meanwhile, during the gunfight youth assembled near the encounter site and pelted stones on government forces who retaliated with teargas canisters and pallets. At least six protesters were injured after forces fired pellets to break up the protests, reports said.

While Internet service was suspended in police districts of Awantipora and Pulwama to maintain law and order, Tral township observed shutdown in the wake of encounter.

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