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Cop killed in gunfight with militants in Srinagar

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Srinagar: A constable was killed and a militant injured in a brief shoot-out between police and the militants in the Zoonimar-Soura area of Srinagar on Tuesday, officials said.

Talking to media on the sidelines of wreath laying ceremony of the slain cop at District Police Lines (DPL) here, the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the police had launched a “covert operation” in the area after receiving inputs about the presence of militants there.

“Police had information that three terrorists were roaming in a car. A covert team of police was after them, and a brief encounter took place in which a terrorist sustained a bullet injury, who however managed to escape from the spot,” Kumar told reporters.

The provincial police chief said selection grade constable Amir Hussain Lone of Kupwara was critically injured in the shoot-out. “He was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to injuries. We regret this, but we will soon neutralise the group,” he said.

Kumar said the group was affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

“This was an LeT group consisting of Basit, who became a commander after the killing of Mehran. There was Rehan also and another terrorist. This group is behind the recent killings, including in Budgam. We have been tracking them and will soon neutralise them,” he added.

On a spike in militant attacks, the IG said the security forces were conducting operations. “So far this month, we have neutralised 11 hardcore terrorists, 12-13 of them have also been arrested. Our operations are on,” he added.

Meanwhile, various political parties here condemned the killing of the cop.

“Deeply saddened by the dastardly killing of Amir Hussain of the JK Police. We are fast turning the dignity of human lives into a statistic. And that is very dangerous. My condolences to the family. May Allah give them strength to bear this loss,” Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone said on Twitter.

The National Conference said, “Deeply saddened by the demise of 30-year-old SGCT Amir Hussain who lost his life in a shootout at Zoonimar, Soura (Srinagar). May Allah grant him a place in Jannat and give his loved ones enough strength to face the days ahead.”

Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari said the cycle of violence was despicable and served no cause.

“Condemn the killing of a policeman in a brief shoot out in Srinagar today. My heart goes out to his family & loved ones. This cycle of violence is despicable and serves no cause. It only leaves behind inevitable loss and adds to our sufferings,” he tweeted.

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