Anantnag: Four local Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed Saturday in a gunfight with government forces in south Kashmir’s Kulgam.
The slain militants have been identified as Ashraf Malik, a resident of Arwini in Anantnag; Aijaz Naik, a resident of Chimmer village in Kulgam; Shahid Malik, a resident of Khull Ahmedabad in Kulgam and Waqar Ahmad, a resident of Chawalgam village in Kulgam.
The gunfight broke out early Saturday morning in Khur Batpora village of Kulgam district.
A senior police official told Kashmir Reader that the movement of these militants involved in recent civilian killings was being followed and it led the government forces to the Khur Batpora village in wee hours of Saturday morning.
Four civilians were killed in last two weeks in Kulgam by unidentified gunmen. Police has blamed militants for the killings.
The police official said that the militants were hiding in a residential house of Ghulam Muhammad Lone and when the contact was established with them and they were asked to lay down their arms.
“The holed up militants, however, opened indiscriminate fire which was duly retaliated,” he said, adding that three of the militants were killed in the initial exchange of fire.
Local sources said that after the house was set on fire, militants ran out into the lawn of the house where three of them were killed and another one took refuge in a nearby house which belonged to one Abdul Aziz Lone.
“The fourth militant was killed in that house while the house was also substantially damaged,” a local source said.
There, however, were reports that another militant, the fifth one was trapped in the area.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) Victor Force, A Sen Gupta told reporters that search was on for the fifth militant.
“We have retrieved four bodies and search was on for the fifth one,” he said in a press briefing.
Police officials from Kulgam confirmed that four bodies have been retrieved while a combing operation was on in the area.
“We have also recovered a pistol, one AK-47, an INSAS rifle, one SLR and some ammunition,” the senior police official said, “The bodies will be handed over to the families after completion of medico-legal formalities,”
Meanwhile, 2G mobile internet services were also snapped in Kulgam district early Saturday morning soon after the gunfight commenced.