Southern Kashmir, comprising four districts of Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama, which have emerged as the stronghold of militants witnessed 127 militant killings in 2018. Shopian district topped the list with 43 militant killings followed by 39 in Pulwama, 30 in Anantnag and 15 in Kulgam, a report published by The New Indian Express said.
Northern Kashmir, comprising three districts of Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora witnessed 93 militant killings in encounters with government forces in 2018.
According to police data quoted by the New Indian Express 16 militants were killed in encounters with forces in capital city Srinagar in 2018 while six more militants including Lashkar-e-Toiba’s Kashmir chief Naveed Jhatt, who had escaped from police captivity in Srinagar hospital in February last year, were killed in the gunfights with forces in Budgam district.
Another central Kashmir district of Ganderbal did not witness any encounter or militant killings. Although a Hizb militant of the district, who was PhD scholar and Assistant Professor of University of Kashmir, Rafi Bhat, was killed on May 6, a day after joining Hizb.