Two local Hizb militants killed in Anantnag: Police

30-35 kg IED recovered in Khonmoh; CASO after gunfight called off in Shopian

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SRINAGAR — Two local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were killed in a brief gunfight at Poshkreeri area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag on Tuesday, police said. Elsewhere, police claimed recovery of 30-35 kilograms in Khonmoh area of Srinagar while an overnight cordon-and-search operation following a gunbattle in Shopian district ended with militants managing to escape from the spot.

“Acting on specific information regarding the presence of terrorists in village Poshkreeri area of Anantnag, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police and Army (3RR) in the said area,” a police spokesperson said in a statement to GNS.

He added, “During the search operation, as the joint search party approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding (militants) fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter.”

In the ensuing encounter, he said, two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter. They have been identified as Danish Ahmad Bhat alias Kokab Duree son of Gulazar Ahmad Bhat of Jablipora Bijbehara and Basharat Nabi Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone of Fatehpora Anantnag.

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“As per the police records, both (of them) were categorized (militants) and (were) active since the year 2019. Both had a history of cases including attacks on police/security forces and civilian atrocities,” he said.

Besides, they were also involved in the killing of two Territorial Army personnel namely Manzoor Ahmad at Sadoora Anantnag on June 6, 2019 and Mohammad Saleem at Bijbehara on April 9, 2021. “Moreover, they were also involved in the killing of two civilians on May 29, 2021 in Jablipora Bijbehara area.”

The spokesperson said one AK-56 Rifle, its 35 rounds, two AK Magazines, one Pistol along with Magazine and two rounds were recovered from the site of the encounter.

Moreover, he said, based on specific input regarding the presence of militants in Khonmoh area of Srinagar, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police and Army’s 50RR in the area. “During the search of the orchards in the area, an IED weighing about 30-35 kg was recovered,” he said, adding, “By recovering (it), a possible IED attack was averted. The search operation in the area is still going on.”

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Meanwhile, an overnight cordon-and-search operation in Baskuchan area of Shopian district was called off after militants managed to escape from the area, officials said.

The gunfight had later on Monday afternoon after a joint team of Police and Army launched a CASO following inputs about the presence of the militants there.

The joint team came under fire during the CASO which was retaliated, leading to the gunfight, the officials said. However, they said, there was a lull thereafter even as the joint party had intensified searches in the area.

There was no fresh contact with the militants amid CASO in the area and the operation was called off today, they said.

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