Mir Zeeshan

2 militants killed in encounter in Shopian

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Shopian, Jul 27: Two militants, including a top Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander from Pakistan, were killed on Saturday in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Shopian district, police said.

Police spokesperson said that a cordon and search operation was launched during the preceding night in the Banday Mohalla in Bonbazar area of Shopian district following a credible tip-off about the presence of militants in the area.

He said that as joint party of Army’s 23 PARA, CRPF and SOG of police cordoned the suspected spot and intensified searches, hiding militants fired upon forces which they retaliated, leading to an encounter.

From the incriminating materials recovered at the site of encounter, the slain militants were identified as Munna Lahori, a Pakistani national, and Mir Zeenat-ul-Islam of Turkawangam Shopian, police spokesman said

He said Munna Lahori was affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit while Zeenat-ul-Islam belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) outfit, the official said.

“Lahori, also known as Bihari, had been used by Pakistan-based JeM for the recruitment of militants in the Kashmir valley,” police said, adding that he was known for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

“Lahori was responsible for a car blast attack on a security forces' convoy on March 30 at Banihal and a fatal car blast on an Army vehicle at Arihal in Pulwahma on June 17, in which two soldiers were killed and nine others including two civilians were injured," police spokesman said.

He said several cases were registered against Zeenat-ul-Islam, including a case pertaining to abduction and killing of civilian Irfan Hameed of Zainapora.

Spokesman also said “it was a clean operation and no collateral damage took place during the exchange of fire".

He requested the people to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any.

In the wake of encounter mobile Internet service were suspended in the entire Shopian district as a “precautionary measure to maintain law and order”.

Meanwhile, after medico-legal formalities, the body of slain Zeenat-ul-Islam was handed over to his family for last rites.

Local reports said after multiple rounds of funeral prayers, slain Zeenat was laid to rest amid pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans.

According to police records, slain Zeenat had joined militant ranks on 23rd March, 2019.

A local resident of Bonbazar Shopian informed that yesterday around eight in the evening joint units of forces laid siege to Bonbazar and continued searches for the whole night.

He said the firing started on Saturday morning around 8 am, and lasted for only fifteen minutes.

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