Pulwama: Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, who were reportedly close aides of ‘most wanted’ commander Burhan Wani and were also seen in recent videos and pictures with him, have been killed in a gun battle with government forces in Manzimpora area of Shopian district, according to police sources.
According to sources, the militants killed in the encounter have been identified as Irshad Ahmad Sheikh resident of Maldaira, Shopian and Aadil Khanday resident of Barbugh Imam Sahab, Shopian. “They were active for around a year and were close aides of Burhan,” a police officer said.
The Special Operations Group (SOG) of police and army’s 62 RR on Thursday evening laid a cordon around Manzimpora village of Imam Sahib area after receiving information about the presence of militants in the area, a senior police official said.
When the search party started advancing, the militants hiding in the area opened fire. “The joint team returned the fire, triggering a gun-battle. Two militants have been killed so far,” Superintendent of Police Shopian, Altaf Khan told Kashmir Reader. While some reports had said that a third militant was believed to be hiding in the area, the operation was reportedly called off late Thursday night.
Meanwhile, incidents of stone pelting were reported from near the encounter site. Locals apparently threw stones on government forces in a bid to divert their attention, however they were dispersed by the police. There were no reports of any injuries.
—With inputs from Anantnag by Shabir Ahmad