Civilian, six militants, army soldier killed in Shopian gunfight

Civilian, six militants, army soldier killed in Shopian gunfight
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Shopian: A civilian, six militants and an army soldier were killed on Sunday during a gunfight between militants and government forces in Shopian.

The civilian identified as Nouman Ashraf Bhat resident of Bolsu Kulgam, brought dead To district hospital Kulgam.

Initially, four militants were killed in the gunfight that broke out at midnight in Batagund-Kapran village. A total of six militants were trapped in a residential house. Of them four were officially declared killed early morning while the rest were alive and engaged forces in firefight.

During searches for bodies, a militant arose from debris of the house and opened barrage of gunfire on the joint team of army and police.

In the firing, the army soldier identified as Nazir Ahmad resident of Ashmuji Kulgam of 162 territorial army presently with army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles was killed.

Soon after the two hiding militants were also killed resulting in conclusion of the operation with the killing of six militants.

An army spokeperson confirmed the killing of six militants and the soldier. He said arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain.

The slain militants are Abbas Bhat resident of Matribug, Mushtaq Ahmad resident of Checki Choland, Khalid Farooq resident of Shopian, Waseem Wagay resident of Amshipora and Umar Majid of Shurut Kulgam.

Abbas replaced former Hizb Shopian chief Zeenat-ul-Islam, who returned back to Al-Badr.

Today’s gunfight is fourth encounter in south Kashmir from last Sunday. Since then 12 militants including top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed in the last seven days. Of them six each were killed in Anantnag and Shopian, respectively.

After facing public resistance including protests by people to help militants escape around gunfight sites, forces have amended their strategy. The last three encounters point to this fact that forces prefer to finish encounters before dawn.