Five mil­i­tants killed in Kash­mir gun­fight

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Hhttnation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

: Five mil­i­tants were killed in a gun­fight with se­cu­rity forces in south Kash­mir’s Kul­gam dis­trict in the dead­li­est in­ci­dent of vi­o­lence 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 in early on Sun­day af­ter in­for­ma­tion about the pres­ence of mil­i­tants in Kel­lam area of the dis­trict.

A po­lice state­ment said the forces re­tal­i­ated to fir­ing by mil­i­tants at the search party. “In the en­su­ing en­counter, five ter­ror­ists were killed and the bod­ies were re­trieved from the site of the en­counter. Their iden­ti­ties and af­fil­i­a­tions are be­ing as­cer­tained,” an of­fi­cial said.

The op­er­a­tion ended in the af­ter­noon.

A po­lice spokesman said that all the mil­i­tants were lo­cals and­part of a com­bined group of pro­scribed ter­ror out­fits Hizbul Mu­jahideen and Lashkar-eTaiba and iden­ti­fied them as Waseem Ahmad Rather, Aqib Nazir Mir, Par­vaiz Ahmad Bhat, Idrees Ahmad Bhat and Zahid Ahmad Par­ray.

Army spokesper­son Col Ra­jesh Kalia said the forces re­cov­ered weapons and war­like stores from the en­counter site.

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. “While eight were treated at the dis­trict hospi­tal, six each were taken to Anant­nag hospi­tal and Ke­lam health cen­tres. The in­jured are sta­ble,” he said.

The po­lice wanted people not to ven­ture near the en­counter zone and re­quested them to co­op­er­ate with po­lice un­til the area was com­pletely sani­tised .

Sep­a­ratist leader Mir­waiz Umar Fa­rooq tweeted, “Deeply sad­dened by the mar­tyr­dom of 5 young boys in #Kul­gam as the tyranny of #Oper­a­tionall­out, #CASO (cor­don and search op­er­a­tions) con­tin­ues against the people of #Southkash­mir...”

SRI­NA­GAR

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