Bijbehara: Four militants, two each from Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), according to police, were killed by government forces in a gunfight on Thursday evening here in Arwini area of Anantnag district.
The militants were identified as Owais Lone of Hawoora and Sahir Makroo of Arwini of Hizb and Muzamil Magray of Watoo Aharbal and Amir Tantray of DH Pora, both from Lashkar.
A senior police official told Kashmir Reader that the bodies have been retrieved, along with weapons.
The gunfight raged in Kharpora locality of Arwini, near Bijbehara. As per police, the area was cordoned off following inputs regarding presence of militants in the area, at about 4:00 PM.
The militants, as per the police, were hiding in a residential house and as soon as the cordon was laid they tried to escape the house, “using indiscriminate fire as shield.”
“In retaliatory fire, three militants were instantly gunned down. The fourth one managed to sneak into another house and kept firing from there,” the police official said.
The fourth one was subsequently killed as well, by 7:30 PM, he said.
“Searches and other formalities continue in the area,” the police official said.
Intense clashes erupted around the site of the encounter as hundreds of locals tried to reach the encounter site to help the militants escape. They were dispersed by the use of tear smoke shells and pellet guns by government forces.
“As soon as the gunfight started, announcements were made from mosque loudspeakers urging people to come out and save the militants,” a local source said.
He said that hundreds responded to the call, including many women, who clashed with government forces around the site of the gunfight.
While some reports suggested that several people were injured during the clashes, none of the hospitals around Arwini had received any injured by the time this report was filed.