Security forces kill 5 militants in J&K, one civilian dies in clashes
SRINAGAR: Five Lashkar-e-taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in a joint operation by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Saturday, officials said. A civilian was killed and over a dozen others injured in clashes that erupted around the encounter site as protesters tried to break the cordon to provide an escape route to trapped militants. Army spokesman, colonel Rajesh Kalia said five militants were killed in the operation and weapons were recovered from them. Police termed the killing of five militants as a success, saying they were involved in killings of policemen and bank guards and in bank robberies.
Giving details about the operation, a police spokesman said that based on credible information about the presence of militants, security forces launched an operation at Chowgam area of Qazigund in Kulgam at midnight.
“As the search operation was underway, militants opened fire on the search party. Initially the civilians were moved away from the site of encounter to safer locations and security forces then engaged the militants,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, Rouf Ahmad, 24, of Anchidora was killed and over a dozen civilians were injured as protesters gathered at the encounter site. Following the encounter, a shutdown was observed in Kulgam and Anantnag districts while officials, fearing further protests, ordered suspension of internet services while the rail service between Srinagar and Banihal was also halted. Three injured civilians were shifted to a Srinagar hospital.
Medical superintendent, Shere-kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Farooq Jan said “They (three injured civilians from Kulgam) are being evaluated, one had pellet injuries while others had fire arm wounds.’’
Since Tuesday, forces have killed nine militants in Kashmir and three militants in Jammu region in four different operations. Out of them, five were foreign militants.
Police termed the killing of militants a success; alleged they were involved in killings of policemen and bank guards.