Four militants killed in twin gunfights at Shopian

Slain were involved in several crime cases: ADGP Vijay Kumar

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Security forces during a gunfight in Pulwama
Security forces during a gunfight in Pulwama

SHOPIAN — Four local militants among them three affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and one militant affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in twin gunfights that broke out between militants and government forces in Drach and Moolu areas in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, officials said on Wednesday.

An official told the news agency KNO that on specific input about the presence of militants, a joint team of Police, Army and CRPF after receiving information about the presence of militants launched search operations in Drach and Moolu areas.

He said that as the joint team of forces intensified searches towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon the party, which retaliated, thus triggering the encounters.

He said during the exchange of fire, three militants were killed in Drach who were affiliated with JeM and they have been identified as Zubair Maqbool of Doompora Keegam, Jamsheed Magray of Rajpora Pulwama and Hanan Bin Yaqoob of Karimabad Pulwama.

He added that one militant identified as Arif Rashid Wani of Shirmal Shopian affiliated with LeT was killed in Moolu Shopian.

ADGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that slain militants were involved in several militant crime cases and Hanan and Jamsheed were involved in Pinglena attack in which one SPO was killed.

A police spokesman in a statement issued to KNO said that yesterday at about 2005 hrs, Police along with Army (44RR) and CRPF (14 Bn) launched a joint cordon and search operation in the village Drach Keegam area of Shopian, following input regarding the presence of militants in the said area. “As the joint search party proceeded towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon the search party. The joint party retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter.”

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“In the ensuing encounter, three local militants linked with proscribed terror outfit JeM were killed and their bodies were recovered from the site of encounter,” the spokesman said, adding, they have been identified as Zubair Maqbool Wani, resident of Doompora Keegam, Jamsheed Ahmad Magray, resident of Rajpora and Hanaan Bin Yaqoob alias Saqib, resident of Karimabad Pulwama.

Police said that all the killed militants are categorized militants and were involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on Police/security forces and civilian atrocities.

Militants Hanan Bin Yaqoob and Jamsheed were involved in recent killing of SPO Javed Dar on October 2, 2022 at Pinglena area of Pulwama and they were also involved in killing of an outside labourer from West Bengal in Gudoora. “Besides, militant Jamshed was involved in the Ratnipora terror attack where he shot and injured two outside labourers,” police said.

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Meanwhile, J&K Police said that in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, on a specific input regarding the presence of militants at Moolu area of Shopian, police along with Army (44 RR) and CRPF (178 Bn) launched a joint cordon and search operation in the area.

“As the joint search party approached the suspected spot, the hiding militant fired indiscriminately which was effectively retaliated by the joint search party, resulting in the elimination of a local militant. He has been identified as Arif Rashid Wani, resident of Shirmal,” the spokesperson said, adding the killed militant was a categorised militant linked with proscribed terror outfit LeT and he was involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on Police/security forces and civilian atrocities.

“Arms and ammunition including four AK series rifles, one Pistol, eight AK magazines, four Pistol magazines and other incriminating materials were recovered from both the encounter sites. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation,” the statement said.

“Regarding the incidents, cases under relevant sections of the law have been registered at respective police stations and further investigations have been initiated. People are requested to cooperate with Police till the areas at encounter sites are completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any,” police said.

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