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6 militants, minor boy killed in 3 separate encounters

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Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, Mar 22: Six militants, including two Pakistanis, and a minor boy allegedly held hostage by the militants were killed in separate encounters with government forces on Friday in Bandipora and Shopian districts.

Two militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed in an overnight gunbattle in Hajin area of Bandipora district, officials said.

The operation against the militants was started on Thursday but the government forces had to proceed with caution as the militants had, according to officials “two civilians hostage”.

They said while one civilian was rescued Thursday evening, the other hostage — a 12-year-old boy — was killed.

“Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in the Hajin encounter. From incriminating material, both were identified as Pakistani nationals, Ali and Hubaib,” a police spokesman said.

He said while one hostage — Abdul Hameed was rescued Thursday evening, the second hostage — minor boy Aatif Ahmad — “could not be saved and was brutally killed by terrorists”.

Meanwhile, two militants were killed in a seven-hour-long gunfight in southern Shopian district, which ended Friday afternoon.

The gunfight had erupted on wee hours of Friday in Gadapora village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

An official said that the gunfight has ended and the bodies of both the militants have been recovered.

He said that searches are still going on at the site of the gunfight.

The killed militants have been identified as Showkat Ahmad of Hermain, Shopian and Yasir Ahmad of Arhama Shopian, both affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

Police said that Showkat Ahmad Sheikh was involved in abduction and killing of three police officials – Nissar Ahmad Dhobi, Firdous Ahmad Kuchey and Kulwant Singh, all residents of Shopian, in 2018.

This group was also responsible for the murder of lady police official Khushboo Jan in Shopian, police said.

Two militant were killed today in an encounter that broke out in north Kashmir’s Sopore arera last evening, sources said.

The operation was on in Warpora area of Sopore, when this report was being filed.

Earlier Two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants were killed in an encounter with government forces at Kalantara in Baramulla district on Thursday while three forces’ personnel including an officer suffered injuries during the operation.

A police spokesman one of the slain militants was Amir Rasool Kaboo, a local from Sopore, while the other was a Pakistani national.

Meanwhile, thousands of people today attended the funeral prayers of Kaboo.

Complete shutdown was also observed across the Sopore town and its adjacent areas.

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