Five militants killed in Kashmir in gunfight with security forces
The encounter continued for about eight hours. They did not pay heed and opened fire after which we retaliated. Five militants were killed and five AK-47 rifles recovered from them. The house in which they were hiding was also damaged. HARMEET SINGH MEHTA, SSP, Kulgam
SRINAGAR: Five militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-taiba were killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, the police said on Sunday, hours after this year’s deadliest incident of violence in the Valley.
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.
Kulgam senior superintendent of police Harmeet Singh Mehta said forces had information that the militants were hiding in a house, which was cordoned off before sunrise and the militants were asked to surrender.
“They did not pay heed and opened fire after which we retaliated,” said Mehta.
“The encounter continued for about eight hours. Five militants were killed and five AK-47 rifles and other ammunition were recovered from them. The house in which they were hiding was also damaged,” Kulgam senior superintendent of police Harmeet Singh Mehta said. Army spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said the forces recovered weapons and warlike stores from the encounter site.
A police spokesperson said all militants were local residents and part of a combined group of the homegrown Hizbul Mujahideen and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-taiba.
They were identified as Waseem Ahmad Rather, Aqib Nazir Mir, Parvaiz Ahmad Bhat, Idrees Ahmad Bhat and Zahid Ahmad Parray.
The spokesperson said Waseem, Aqib and Parvaiz were involved in the killings of a civilian and a local armyman.
“This group of terrorists was also involved in various grenade attack incidents across Anantnag and Kulgam districts for which cases stand registered in concerned Police Stations,” the spokesman said.
Clashes broke out near the encounter site after local people allegedly pelted stones at the forces.
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,” Rafi Ahmad Salati, Kulgam’s block medical officer, said.
The police asked people not to
Army personnel outside the house in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district where the militants were hiding. The house was cordoned off by security forces before the gun battle.