Three militants were killed in the gunfight with forces that triggered clashes resulting in injuries to at least six youth in Tral area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Officials said that at least five militants are believed to be hiding in the forest area of Gujjar Basti in Wantiwen forests of Satura village and the encounter that started in the wee hours today continued late into the evening.
A police spokesman said that three militants were killed in the gunfight. Following the encounter, clashes broke out in the area during which six protesters were injured. Protesters who sustained minor injuries were shifted to primary health centre (PHC) Aripal for treatment, while authorities snapped mobile Internet services as a “precautionary measure”.
Meanwhile, militants lobbed grenade on police and CRPF patrolling party in Kulgam’s Laroo village in which one CRPF person was injured. According to sources Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI), Rajinder Singh of 18 battalion of CRPF was injured in the attack, following which some youth were picked up.
In Tral, forces pressed into service helicopters and para commandos after gunfight erupted during a cordon. The searches were started jointly by Army’s 42 RR, Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police. An official said that the identity of the militants couldn’t be ascertained, but intelligence inputs reveal that they belonged to the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) outfit.
Following the militant killings clashes erupted between protesters and the government forces at Satoora village of Tral and forces used teargas smoke shells to disperse protesters. Exchange of firing between the militants and government forces went on for long time.
In a statement Jaish-e-Mohammed said three militants killed by forces in Tral belonged to its outfit and claimed their “mission” would be taken to the logical end. Spokesperson of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Mohammad Hassan Shah, in a statement said three militants belonged to its outfit were killed by forces at Satoora in Tral area of Pulwama district.
Government forces have killed as many as 102 militants this year, making it the highest number of killings in the January-July period in seven years, a police official said. The security forces are going after militants as part of operation “hunt down” and on the basis of their “hit list” , said the official who refused to be identified.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Muneer Khan, said that one or two militants of Jaish-e-Muhammad militant outfit are still holed up inside a cave in Satura forest.
Meanwhile, police sources said that the two local militants killed during the gunfight have been identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Khan of Hundura, Tral. Khan was a category (A) militant of (JeM) and was active since March 2017. The second local militant was identified as Mukhtiyar Ahmad Lone of Harpura, Ameerabad (Tral). Lone was a category (C) militant of the (JeM). He was a fresh recruit as he had joined the outfit in June this year.
Sources said that the third militant was a foreigner and his identity is being ascertained.