3 army soldiers, one policeman injured; all slain militants from south Kashmir
Anantnag: In an early morning gunfight, four militants of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed while four government forces personnel – three of them army men and the fourth a cop – were injured here in Lassipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday.
The slain militants have been identified as Zaffar Ahmad Paul alias Abu Manzil, a resident of Dangerpora Shopian; Aqib Ahmad Kumar, son of Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Imam Sahib, Shopian; Muhammad Shafi Bhat, son of Ghulam Muhammad, a resident of Sedow Shopian; and Tauseef Aziz Yattoo alias Aazim, a resident of Lassipora Pulwama.
Tauseef, 34, was an active militant since 2016. He was designated as Category-A by the government forces. The other three had joined militant ranks in the latter part of 2018.
The operation, as per police, was launched in the wee hours of Monday following inputs regarding presence of militants in the area.
“The operation was launched at about 3:00 AM in the morning. While searches were being carried out in the area, the militants opened indiscriminate fire from a hideout,” a senior police official from the area said.
He said that the initial fire from militants left 3 army men and a cop injured.
“They were evacuated to hospital and are out of danger,” the police official said.
The gunfight continued for a few hours, before all the four militants were killed. “Weapons, ammunition and other incriminating material have been retrieved from the site of the gunfight along with the bodies of the militants,” he said.
An identification process, followed by other medico-legal formalities, was carried out on the bodies retrieved and after proper identification they were handed over to the respective families.
Authorities had imposed curbs on movement on roads leading to the villages of these militants and also snapped mobile internet services. That, however, could not stop thousands of people from reaching these villages to attend multiple rounds of funeral prayers held for the slain.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in both Pulwama and Shopian districts following the killings.