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2 Al-Badr militants killed in Khanmoh encounter

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Five militants, vast network of OGWs active in Srinagar: IGP

Srinagar: Two militants of Al-Badr outfit were killed in an encounter with security forces in Kanmoh area of Srinagar district on Monday, police said.

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Khonmoh area, in the outskirts of the city, following information about the presence of militants there, the police said.

The search operation turned into an encounter after militants opened fire towards security forces positions, they said.

Two militants were killed in the ensuing gunfight, the police said and identified them as Wasim Bashir Pandit, son of Bashir Ahmad Pandit, resident of Kakapora, and Mudasir Ahmad Khanday, son of Farooq Ahmad Khanday, resident of Bargam Awantipora.

As per police records, both the killed militants were part of groups involved in several militancy-related cases including planning and executing attacks on police and security forces, a police spokesman said.

Arms, ammunition and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of the encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases, police spokesman said.

He said the last rites of the killed militants shall be performed after conducting medico-legal formalities and the nearest family members of local militants shall be allowed to participate in the last rites.

People also requested the people to cooperate till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials if any.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said that both the militants were affiliated with Al-Badr outfit.

The IGP said that police had received a tip-off yesterday evening after which the lead was further developed. “Police, army and the CRPF laid a siege in Khommoh area.”

“Two militants were hiding in the area. They were repeatedly asked to surrender, but they turned down all offers,” the IGP said. “This morning the encounter started and both the militants were killed. “

He also said that Khonmoh and Khrew areas are connected with Tral belt of Pulwama district and this stretch usually witnesses militant movement.

According to the local news agency KNO, the Kashmir police chief also said that there are five militants active in Srinagar even as there is a “vast network of Over Ground Workers” (OGWs) in the district of which many were arrested while C-category OGWs are being “counselled and handed over to their families”.

“There were six active militants in Srinagar of which one was recently killed in Kokernag (Anantnag) gunfight. Now there are five local militants still active in Srinagar who would either be killed or apprehended,” news agency KNO quoted IGP as telling reporters on Monday at Pantha Chowk, Srinagar after the gunfight in Khonmoh.

The IGP said that there is a “vast network of OGWs” active in Srinagar district of which many have already been arrested and booked under PSA and many are still on the police radar.

“There are C-category OGWs who are being counselled and handed over to their families,” the IGP said.

Asked whether there was any foreign militant active in Srinagar, Kumar said inputs about the movement of foreign militants “continue to pour in but as of now no foreign militant is permanently active in Srinagar district.”

To a query over IEDs, the IGP said that security forces are “effectively dealing with the IED threat as is evident with the recent seizure of 10-kg IED material in Shopian followed by the detection of another one by the army.

“We are aware of the IED threat and are effectively dealing with the same by timely detection,” he said.

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