Six militants killed in twin gunfights in Kashmir

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More than a dozen villages under massive CASO in Pulwama
Government forces stand guard during a massive search operation (Photo by Zahid Chaat)

SRINAGAR — Six militants were killed in twin encounters that broke out between security forces and militants in Kupwara and Kulgam districts of Kashmir on Sunday, Jammu and Kashmir Police said.

A police spokesperson said that security forces killed six militants including two Pakistani residents in two ‘operations’ in Kupwara and Kulgam districts of Kashmir Valley.

Kupwara Police along with Army’s 28RR on Sunday launched a joint anti-militant operation on the disclosure of an arrested militant Showkat Ahmad Sheikh in the forests of Chandigam Lolab area of Kupwara, as per the spokesperson.

He said that during the search of a hideout, the hiding militants started firing indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter.

“In the initial exchange of fire, one militant was killed and the arrested militant leading search party also got trapped. In the ensuing encounter, four militants were killed,” the officer said.

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About the Kulgam gunfight, he said that based on specific input generated by police regarding the presence of militants in DH Pora Kulgam, a joint cordon and search was launched by J&K Police and Army’s 9RR in the said area.

“As the joint search party approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon search party which was retaliated, leading to an encounter,” he said.

“Later on, CRPF also joined the operation. In the ongoing encounter, two local militants were killed. They have been identified as Haris Sharief of Srinagar and Zakir Padder of Kulgam,” the officer added.

As per police records, the slain militant Haris Sharief was linked with LeT while Zakir Padder was linked with JeM and both were ‘categorised militants’. The duo, as per the police, were part of groups involved in several cases including attacks on police, security forces and civilian atrocities.

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Meanwhile, Inspector General of Kashmir Police (IGP) Kashmir zone Vijay Kumar said that the militants can’t deter the efforts to bring peace to the Valley while the anti-militancy operations will continue simultaneously in all the three regions including north, south and central Kashmir, especially against foreign militants.

“By targeting innocent civilians including women and kids, unarmed policemen and outside labourers, militants can’t deter our efforts to bring peace in the Valley. Our CT operations will continue simultaneously in all 3 regions of Kashmir, especially against foreign terrorists,” Kashmir Zone Police said while quoting IGP.

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