Srinagar: At least two militants associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed during a brief gunbattle with the army in Hayatpora area of Chadoora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district Satarday evening, officials said.
Defense spokesman, Rajesh Kalia, said a unit of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) came under fire at around 6:45 pm in Hayatpora. The army returned the fire resulting in the killing of two militants, he said.
Residents said they heard the gunshots from the peripheral areas of Hayatpora which has few sparsely located houses.
“Later we came to know that two rebels were killed,” a resident of Hayatpora said. “The dead include one rebel who hails from neighboring Patirgam village”.
A police official said the bodies of militants were later taken to Nagam based RR camp of army.
“One was identified as a local, Younis Maqabool Ganai of Patirgam village. While the second one was believed to be a non local,” a police official said.
The official said that Ganai had recently joined militancy and was active in the area.
Soon after the gun battle, the residents of Hayatpora and adjoining villages started protests against the killing of two militants.
Shopkeepers in the markets in Chadoora and adjoining villages downed their shutters. Incidents of stone pelting were also reported from various areas.
Earlier this month, one militant was killed in Chadoora while as three civilians lost their life when government forces opened fire on protesting civilians.