Foreign militant among 2 killed in Sopore gunfight
Baramulla: Two militants, including a foreigner, were killed in an encounter with joint team of police and army at Nathipora area of north Kashmir’s Sopore on Tuesday, officials said.
The encounter had ensued after a team of police and Army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles was fired upon during a cordon-and-search operation launched in the area following specific information about the presence of the militants there, they said.
“Two militant have been killed,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.
Police identified the slain militants as a local Wasim Ahmed Lone, resident of Hatlangoo Sopore, and a foreign militant Hamas alias Asrar alias Saria, who police said was active since March 2018 in north Kashmir.
Police said as per its records, both the militants were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and were part of groups involved in several militancy cases including planning and executing of attacks on security establishments.
Hamas was also the “mastermind” of the attack on municipal councilors at Sopore on March 29, along with Mudasir Pandit alias Maaz. Two councilors — Reyaz Ahmad Peer and Shamasdin Peer besides policeman Shafqat Nazir Khan were killed in the said attack.
Police said arms and ammunition including one AK-47 rifle, one Insas rifle and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter. Further search is in progress.
Pertinently, local sources said that one of the slain militants — Waseem Ahmad Lone – had joined the militant ranks just two days ago. Pertinently, on Sunday Lone’s family had made an appeal on social media asking him to return home.
Meanwhile, as a “precautionary measure” authorities suspended internet services in the area to maintain law and order situation, officials said.
Police also said that the last rites of the killed militants shall be performed after conducting medico-legal formalities and the nearest family members of local militant shall be allowed to participate in the last rites.
Police said a case has been registered under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated.
“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any,” police said.