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3 militants killed in Anantnag encounter

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Jan 16: Three militants were killed in an overnight gun battle with security forces in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district today.
Acting on specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in village Awoora in Pahalgam area of Anantnag district, security forces last evening launched a search operation in the area.
As the security forces were conducting the search operation, the hiding militants fired upon them. The security forces retaliated, ensuing an encounter.
The exchange of fire went on till late in the evening after which it was halted for the night.  It was resumed in the wee hours today and the three militants were killed in the gunfight. Three AK-47 rifles, 9 magazines, 80 rounds and 3 pouches were recovered from the encounter site.
A police spokesman said that acting on a specific information about the presence of militants in Awoora village in the jurisdiction of Police Station Pahalgam, Anantnag police along with 3 RR and 116 Battalion of CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in the area, last evening. “During the search operation, the hiding militants  fired  upon the joint party. The party retaliated”, he said.
Three militants affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in the encounter. They were identified as Abid Sheikh son of Farooq Sheikh resident of Satkipora Srigufwara, Maqsood Ahmad Sheikh alias Masoom son of Ghulam Nabi resident of Bewoora Srigufwara and Adil Reshi son of Mushtaq Ahmad resident of Iqbal Mohalla Bijbehara.
Police said that Adil Reshi was involved in number of incidents. He along with Amir Nabi alias Ibn Qasim was involved in attack on SDPO Bijbehara and his PSO on 24th of December 2015 in which a case FIR number 244/2015 under Section 307 RPC, 7/25 A Act stands registered in police station Bijbehara.
The 1-Sector Commander of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) Brigadier R Chakraborty described the killing of the three militants as major success for the security forces. “It is a major success as their moving freely and preparing a video, in which they were playing with snow, appeared that they were challenging us”, he told a news conference in Anantnag.
The Commander urged the rest of the militants of the group to join mainstream. “I urge rest of the three militants to surrender and join mainstream”, he said. He said that they were all A category militants with one each being A++ and A+.
Brigadier Chakraborty said that the killed militants recently appeared in video and Army ensured that there is no collateral damage. “They are part of a six member militant group that recently appeared in a video playing in snow. We ensured that there is no collateral damage during the encounter”, he added.
While giving details of the operation the Sector Commander said: “We got information about hiding of three militants in Awoora village last evening and we cordoned off the area. At around 5 p.m we heard screams from the house in which militants were trapped. We sent the village headman and informed that there were 8 persons including 2 women and 3 children. We first rescued these people and then launched operation”.
“We cordoned the village at around 5 p.m and it took us an hour to rescue the civilians. The operation lasted for 11 hours and it culminated at 6 a.m in which three terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed”, he said.

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