8 militants, minor boy killed in gun battles

Cong leader’s PSO injured in attack

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, Mar 22 : Eight militants and an 11-year-old boy were killed in four separate gun battles today in North and South Kashmir districts.
Two militants, one of them a top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba, and a minor boy were killed during a gun battle in Hajin area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district today.
Army’s 13 RR, CRPF and SOG launched a cordon and search operation at Mir Mohalla of Hajin last evening. The operation was launched following credible inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.
As the troops approached the suspected house, the hiding militants fired upon them, triggering an encounter. The operation was suspended for the night and resumed in the morning. Click here to watch video
A police spokesman said that initially, the militants kept two civilians as hostages. However, police and security forces with the assistance of community members safely rescued one civilian Abdul Hameed, 60.
“Aatif Mir, 12, was kept hostage by the militants till the end and despite repeated requests by community members and police for his release, he was brutally killed by them and could not be rescued from their clutches,” the spokesman said.
Militants then fired on the security forces who engaged them in an encounter after the civilians in the adjoining areas had been evacuated to safer places. In the ensuing encounter, 2 militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter, the spokesman said.
“From the incriminating material recovered at the site of the encounter, it is understood that the two slain militants were Pakistani nationals identified as Ali and Hubaib. As per the police records, both were affiliated with LeT outfit”, the spokesman said.
“They were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including attacks on security force establishments and civilian atrocities. According to the police records, they were also responsible for conspiring and executing many terror attacks in the area. Several terror crime cases were registered against them,” the spokesman said.
House of Abdul Hamid Mir was razed to rubble during the gunfight and all the three bodies were charred. Police and Army also recovered two AK-47 rifles.
Two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces at Kandi, Kalantra area of Baramulla district in North Kashmir.
Police today identified one militant as Aamir Rasool Kaboo of Arampora Sopore and his body was handed to his family for last rites late last night. The second slain militant was identified as Pakistani national Sabir Bhai who was later buried at Gantamullah area at midnight. Both the militants were affiliated with Jaish-e-Muhammad militant outfit.
Police said they were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of crimes including attack on government establishments and “civilian atrocities”.
“They were involved in conspiring and executing many militant attacks in the area. Several crime cases were registered against both the militants,” the spokesman said.
Three soldiers, including an officer were wounded in the gun battle .
Two militants including an SPO turned Jaish-e-Mohammad member were killed in an encounter in Ratnipora area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district today.
A joint team of army’s 34 RR, SOG and CRPF cordoned off and conducted search operation in Ratnipora village late last night.
The operation was launched following inputs about the presence of some militants. The troops fired some warning shots towards the suspected spot which was responded by militants triggering a gun battle. “During the course of gun battle, two militants have been killed and their bodies along with two weapons were recovered from the site late this afternoon,” Police said.
The militants were identified as as Showkat Ahmad of Heramain and Yasir Ahmad Shah of Aarhama. Showkat was an SPO turned militant and had joined the militant outfit last year.
A massive protest erupted near encounter site and its adjoining villages including Gadapora as protesters tried to march closer to the spot. Security forces used pellets and tear gas to disperse the protesting youth. The stone pelting clashes amid a shutdown was also received from neighbouring Pulwama district
At least 15 youth were injured in the clashes near encounter site. Among the injured, 10 of them were taken to district hospital Shopian for treatment. A policeman Tariq Ahmad also sustained serious head injuries after being hit by a stone during clashes in adjoining Ratnipora village of the district.
The internet services were suspended in Shopian for precautionary measures.
Two militants were killed today in an ongoing gun battle encounter between militants and security forces at Warpora area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
The encounter broke out at Mir Mohalla area of Warpora Sopore after a joint team of Army’s 22 RR, special Operation Group of police and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in the area on Thursday morning. Station House Officer (SHO) and his two security guards were injured near the encounter site yesterday.
Two militants were killed today and their bodies were recovered. The encounter is going on.
A personal security officer (PSO) of Congress leader and Municipal Committee chairman Anantnag Hilal Ahmad Shah was injured in a militant attack at Dangerpora area in the Southern Kashmir district of Anantnag today.
Militants opened fire upon the police party resulting in injuries to the PSO identified as Irshad Ahmad. He was taken to District Hospital for treatment and was referred to SKIMS for advanced treatment.