Srinagar encounter: 3 militants killed, searches continue

SRINAGAR: Three militants were killed on Wednesday by security forces in an encounter which ensued on Tuesday evening during a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in the outskirts of Srinagar city, official sources said.
Meanwhile, traffic from Baramulla, Sopore, Gulmarg and other areas towards Srinagar has been diverted via central Kashmir district of Badgam due to encounter.
A CASO was launched by the troops of Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPF following a tip off about the presence of militants at Umarabad Lawaypora in the city outskirts on Srinagar-Baramulla national highway last evening.
However, when the security forces were moving towards the target area, militants hiding in a particular house resorted to indiscriminate firing with automatic weapons. Security forces also retaliated ensuing in an encounter, they said.
They said due to darkness and severe cold operation was halted though intermittent loud explosion and firing continued throughout the night. Security forces installed lights around particular house to keep a strict vigil and foil any attempt by militants to escape.
Additional security forces and police personnel were deployed in the nearby areas to prevent any law and order problem. There were also some stone pelting incidents in the area.
With the first light this morning, security forces launched an all out offensive against the hold up militants, they said adding heavy exchange of fire besides loud explosions continued for some time at 0700 hrs.
Security forces fired mortars from a distance towards the house where militants were hiding. However, when the firing from militants stopped, a security force used machines to enter the house, they said, adding that there was brief encounter again before the guns fell silent.
Three militants were killed in the encounter, a police spokesman confirmed. However, he said their identity is being ascertained.
Residents of the area said over phone that large number of local people could not come to their homes after they were not allowed by security forces due to security reasons.
There were dozens of loud explosion besides heavy firing in the area, he said, adding that residents remained confined in their homes. He said the busy highway was closed for traffic movement since last evening. This was the tenth encounter between militants and security forces in Srinagar during 2020. (agencies)