18-hour long gun battle ends in Srinagar; militant killed, toll 3

Army men in action during an encounter at Mujgund on the outskirts of Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Army men in action during an encounter at Mujgund on the outskirts of Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Dec 9: In one of the longest gun battles on the outskirts of Srinagar which lasted 18 hours, one more militant was killed today taking the death toll of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants killed in the encounter to 3.
After an overnight lull, the gun battle resumed this morning as one of the militants, who was still alive after his two accomplices were killed last night, opened fire on the troops as they resumed searches in the morning.

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The troops retaliated and huge explosions were heard from a distance and after several hours the security forces eliminated him. He has been identified as Saqib Bilal Sheikh of Hajin Bandipora and was associated with the LeT.
A police spokesman said here that the three militants have been identified as Mudasir Rashid Parray of Hajin Bandipora, Saqib Bilal Sheikh of Hajin Bandipora and from the material evidence collected the third one is a Pakistani identified as Ali of LeT.
Police said that they were wanted by the law for their complicity in various militancy related incidents. Ali, according to police records, was involved in several killings and attacks on security forces. He was involved in recruitments of Kashmiri youth in Hajin and Sumbal areas of Bandipora.
Police said that in the initial exchange of fire, one Army jawan was injured, who is admitted in hospital. Three civilians also sustained injuries as the area was in open and the injured were shifted to hospital for medical treatment.
“Huge quantity of arms and ammunition including rifles were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other terror cases”, police said.
Police advised the citizens not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials”, the statement said.
Clashes broke out between the protesters and security forces in Hajin town of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district after the news spread about the killing of two local militants in an overnight gun battle in Mujgund area of Srinagar.
Groups of youth took to streets and staged protests soon after the news of the killing of 14-year-old Mudasir Ahmad Parray reached his native village Hajin area of Bandipora district. The youth pelted stones on the security forces deployed in the area. Security forces fired teargas and pellets to disperse the protesters.
Clashes also erupted in Shalteng area of Srinagar in the area adjacent to the encounter site. However, security forces fired tear smoke to disperse them.
Security forces were heavily deployed in the old city and other sensitive areas of the city to prevent any violence.
The mobile internet services were shutdown as a precautionary measures to prevent violence.