House reduced to rubble in Tral gunfight but militant untraced

House reduced to rubble in Tral gunfight but militant untraced
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CRPF man injured in initial firing, two civilians in forces’ action

Anantnag: A militant is believed to have escaped the gunfight site in Aripal, Tral after trading fire with government forces for several hours, even as the house, he was holed up in, was reduced to rubble and the debris thoroughly searched by the forces.
The operation, as per the police officials, was still going on however, while this report was being filed.
“We have looked into the debris and have found nothing so far. The operation is still going on and we are trying to track the militant, or his body,” a senior police official told Kashmir Reader.
A CRPF man was injured in the initial exchange of fire, while two civilians were also injured as government forces fired tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse the protesting youth.
The CRPF man was evacuated to Srinagar and was stated to be stable.
The injured youth were also shifted to Srinagar from SDH Tral.
“One had a shell injury in his head and another had multiple pellet injuries. Both were referred to Srinagar,” a health official from Tral told Kashmir Reader.
The gunfight erupted at about 8:45 Saturday morning in Aripal area of Tral, where government forces had laid a CASO following inputs regarding presence of a militant.
“As we were approaching the house, the militant opened fire leaving a CRPF personal injured,” the police official said, adding that there were inputs that a lone militant was holed up.
He said that the fire was retaliated and continued for several hours before the house was blasted and the fire stopped coming from the militant.
“We have been trying to locate the body of the militant but thus far have found nothing,” the official said.
Meanwhile, soon as the news of the gunfight spread thousands of people marched towards the gunfight site in a bid to try and save the trapped militant-who rumors suggested was Hizb commander, Hammad Khan.
“People had come from as far as Srinagar to the area after hearing that Khan was trapped in the encounter,” local sources told Kashmir Reader.
Clashes, as per sources, continued throughout the day near the site of the encounter and several other places in the area.
The government forces had installed lights and widened the cordon as the last reports came in from the area.