Two local LeT militants killed in overnight Pampore gunfight

Government forces during a search operation in Kashmir
Government forces during a search operation in Kashmir | Photo: Reshi Irshad

PAMPORE — Two local Lashkar-e-Toiba (TRF) militants were killed in an overnight encounter at Drangbal area of Pampore in southern district of Pulwama, police said on Saturday.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir told news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that acting on a specific input generated by the Awantipora Police about the presence of two militants in Drangbal area of Pampore, a joint cordon and search was launched by 50 RR, 110Bn CRPF and Police in the area.

“When the presence of militants got ascertained, they were repeatedly asked to surrender but they refused and instead opened fire at the forces, triggering a gun battle,” the IGP said, adding that “the hiding militants took shelter in a three-storey concrete building that caught fire as we fired grenades at it.”

He said that in the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed who were identified as Umar Mushtaq Khanday and Shahid Khurshid who were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (TRF) outfit.

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A police spokesman said that both the slain militants were “collaborators” in recent killings in Srinagar city and were involved in several others.

“Umar Mushtaq was also involved in the killing of two policemen Muhammad Yousuf and Suhail Ahmad in Baghat area of Srinagar and figured among the list of top 10 most wanted militants,” the police spokesman said, adding, “He was also responsible for creating fear among the locals and had been coercing innocent citizens to sympathise with anti-national elements.”

The police spokesman said that incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of the encounter.

The IGP Kashmir further said that post recent civilian killings in Srinagar, militants Shahid Khurshid along with Shahid Bashir shifted to district Pulwama while as their other associate Mukhtar Shah shifted to district Shopian and all the three militants stand killed.

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“Police are committed to hunt down all the militants who try to create fear among masses and spread mischief & tumult in the valley and such elements & their names should be excised from society,” the IGP said.

He said that post recent civilian killings, so far 13 militants have been eliminated in nine different anti-militancy operations including 3 out of 5 militants of Srinagar city who were killed within less than 24 hours.

He also said that as of now only two militants of Srinagar city namely Mehran and Wasim are active and all efforts are on to nab them.

Replying to a query that whether security would be provided to all politicians and minorities, the IGP said that it wasn’t possible to provide security one and all but “yes we will provide security to those who are vulnerable and facing threats.”

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