5 Hizb-LeT militants gunned down in Kashmir’s Kulgam
SRINAGAR : Five militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkare-Taiba were killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district in the deadliest encounter in the Valley this year, the police said on Sunday.
A joint party of the army, police, and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) launched a cordon and search operation early on Sunday after information about the presence of militants in Kellam area of the district. SSP Harmeet Singh Mehta said that they had information about militants hiding in a house which was cordoned before sunrise.
“Since they were locals, we asked them to surrender. They did not pay heed and opened fire after which we retaliated. The encounter continued for around eight hours. Five militants were killed and five AK 47 rifles and other ammunition was recovered. The house in which they were hiding was also damaged,” the SSP said.
A police spokesperson said that the militants were part of a combined group of proscribed terror outfits—Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba. They were identified as Waseem Ahmad Rather, Aqib Nazir Mir, Parvaiz Ahmad Bhat , Idrees Ahmad Bhat and Zahid Ahmad Parray. Locals said Waseem had done a masters degree and was pursuing higher studies when he joined militancy last year.
The spokesperson said Waseem, Aqib and Parvaiz were involved in the killings of a civilian, Mohammed Iqbal Kawaq and a local army personnel Mukhtar Ahmad. “The group of terrorists was also involved in various grenade attack across Anantnag and Kulgam districts,” the spokesperson said.
20 CIVILIANS INJURED IN PELLET FIRE
Clashes broke out near the encounter site between forces and local people, who allegedly pelted stones. Authorities stopped internet services in the area to stop further escalation of tension. Rafi Ahmad Salati, Kulgam’s block medical officer, said about 20 people were injured by pellets.
Armymen near a house where militants were hiding during an encounter in Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday.