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5 militants killed in Kulgam encounter

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Over a dozen civilians injured in clashes

Srinagar, Feb 10: Five militants were killed Sunday in an encounter with government forces in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district while clashes near the encounter site left over a dozen people injured.

Reports said that five militants were killed in the gunfight that broke out Sunday morning after the forces launched a cordon-and-search-operation in the district’s Kellem village, a police official said.

He said five militants were killed in the encounter.

Police identified the slain militants as Waseem Ahmad Rather, son of Bashir Ahmad Rather, resident of Ashmuji Kulgam; Aqib Nazir Mir, son of Nazir Ahmad, resident of Zangulpora Devsar; Parvaiz Ahmad Bhat, son of Bashir Ahmad, resident of Mukdam Mohalla Qaimoh; Idrees Ahmad Bhat, son of Mohammad Ramzan Bhat, resident of Arwani, Bijbehara, and Zahid Ahmad Parray, son of Abdul Hamid, resident of Gopalpora DH Pora.

Weapons and war-like stores were claimed recovered from the encounter site.

Militants slain in Kulgam gunfight involved in several grenade attacks: Police

“This group of militants was involved in various grenade attack incidents across Anantnag and Kulgam districts for which cases stand registered in concerned Police Stations,” said a police spokesman.

As per police records, spokesman said it was a combined group of proscribed outfits Hizbul Mujahideen and and Lashkar-e-Taiba, but their exact affiliations are being ascertained.

“Waseem, Aqib and Parvaiz were involved in the killings of a civilian Mohammad Iqbal Kawaq, resident of Kilam, and local army personnel Mukhtar Ahmad, son of Ghulam Hassan Malik, resident of Shurat, for which cases stand registered in concerned police stations,” spokesman said.

“Bodies of the slain militants were handed over to their families after completion of medico-legal formalities,” he added.

Meanwhile, clashes between protestors and government forces also broke out near the encounter site, a police official said, adding there were no immediate reports of injury to anyone. However locals said that over a dozen civilians were injured in these clashes when government forces fired pellets and tear-gas at the stone-pelting mobs.

A health official said 12 persons were injured in the clashes with 10 of them hit by pellets.

Internet service was also suspended in the district soon after the gunfight broke out today morning.

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