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4 militants killed in Kashmir

Shujaat Bukhari

Large quantity of arms and ammunition recovered

— Photo: Nissar Ahmad



PROTEST AGAINST ARREST: Women protesting at Ishbar Nishat in Srinagar against the arrest of a youth after an encounter on Friday. Counter-insurgency force SOG personnel and CRPF men killed three militants in the encounter. Police claimed the militants belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammad. — Photo: Nissar Ahmad

SRINAGAR: Four militants, including two Pakistanis, and an Army havaldar were killed in two separate encounters in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.

Two police personnel were injured and a large quantity of arms and ammunition recovered.

In the first encounter, a 14-hour gun battle between the security forces and militants began when the forces cordoned off Gousia Colony in Nishat area on the city outskirts following a tip off, Deputy Inspector-General, Central Kashmir Range, Farooq Ahmed told The Hindu. The forces finally zeroed in on the house of Ghulam Mohammed Bhat at midnight and the militants were asked to surrender. "Instead, they opened indiscriminate fire on the security forces," Mr. Ahmed said.

Before the flushing out operations began, the house owner and his neighbours were shifted to safer places. Jointly launched by the 19 Rashtriya Rifles, the 2 Para, 112 and 122 battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force and the State police, the operation — supervised by Mr. Ahmed — concluded at about 2.30 p.m.

Three militants, including the divisional commander of the Al Badr, were killed. While the Al Badr militant was identified as Aamir from Pakistan, the other two were identified as Rameez Malla from Litter in Pulwama district and Irfan.

Rameez, according to the DIG, was a freed militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen but had taken to militancy again and joined the Al Badr.

The operation was conducted with surgical precision with no civilian casualties. There was minimal collateral damage. Three AK-47 rifles along with a large quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered, he said.

A group of women staged a demonstration in protest against the re-arrest of Rameez and the damage caused to two houses.

In another encounter, a Hizb militant Mohammad Ibrahim was killed at Sangam Bijbehara. Troops from the 16 Madras regiment, 1 and 3 Rashtriya Rifles, besides the CRPF, cordoned off a house in the area. Army havaldar Ram Chandra was seriously injured in the operation and later died in hospital.

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