3 militants killed, soldier injured in Tral encounter

Troops at the site of gun battle at Tral, Pulwama on Thursday. - Excelsior/Younis Khaliq
Troops at the site of gun battle at Tral, Pulwama on Thursday. - Excelsior/Younis Khaliq

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Jan 3: Three militants were killed and a soldier injured in a gun battle in Tral area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district today.
Army’s 42 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cordoned off Gulshanpora Tral in Pulwama district following the inputs about the presence of a group of Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a hideout.
As the searches were going on, militants fired upon security forces who retaliated leading to a gunfight. Three militants were killed during the encounter. A soldier was critically injured and has been airlifted to Udhampur Army hospital for treatment.

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The killed militants have been identified as Zubair Ahmad Bhat alias Abu Huraira, son of Bashir Ahmad Bhat of Chursoo Awantipora; Shakoor Ahmad Parray alias Jaffar, son of Ghulam Nabi Parray of Laribal Tral and Tawseef Ahmad Thoker alias Abu Talha, son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Thoker of Chursoo Bunpora Awantipora.
It was a combined group of JeM and HM. Zubair was affiliated with JeM while Shakoor and Tawseef were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen. Zubair and Tawseef were active since May last year while Shakoor joined militancy in October 2017. Security forces recovered incriminating materials including arms and ammunition from the site of encounter. The arms include one AK-47 rifle, one SLR and one pistol.
A police spokesman said that all the three militants were wanted by security forces for their complicity in a series of militancy related incidents including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities.
“Police has registered a case and initiated investigation in the matter. Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other terror cases”, the spokesman said.
“Citizens are requested 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 explosive materials if any”, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, over a dozen protesters were injured as clashes broke out in the area after the killing of the three militants. The protesters mostly youth took to the streets and pelted stones on the security forces. The security forces deployed near the encounter site used tear gas canisters to disperse the youth who were pelting stones on them.
The mobile internet services in Pulwama district were shutdown to prevent violence in the area.