2 militants killed, 3 army soldiers injured in Kulgam gunfight

2 militants killed, 3 army soldiers injured in Kulgam gunfight

Anantnag: Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed and three army soldiers, one of them a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), were injured in a gunfight between militants and government forces in Kulgam district of south Kashmir on Saturday.
Police identified one of the slain militants as a non-local named Ali Bhai alias Hyder. The identity of the second militant is still being ascertained, police said.
“Bodies of the militants will be sent to north Kashmir after medico-legal and other formalities for burial,” police sources told Kashmir Reader.
The Covid-19 pandemic is being cited as reason by government authorities since April for not handing over bodies of slain militants to their families. Their bodies are being buried in distant areas in north Kashmir’s Baramulla or in Sonamarg. This is also helping the government to prevent funeral gatherings for militants which would draw huge crowds as people wanted to have a last glimpse of the killed militants and participate in their funeral prayers. Now only family members of the slain militants are allowed to participate in a quiet, official burial.
The army men injured in today’s gunfight were evacuated to the army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar and their condition is stated to be stable.
The gunfight took place in Arreh Mohanpora village of Kulgam district. The area was cordoned off at about half past noon following inputs regarding presence of militants in the area, a senior police official from Kulgam district said.
“As soon as contact was established with the militants they were asked to surrender. They, however, opened indiscriminate fire, which was retaliated,” the official said, adding that one of the militants was killed and 3 army soldiers were injured in this initial burst of gunfire.
Another holed-up militant was again asked to surrender, Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar was quoted by a local news gathering agency as having said.
“The operation was halted and his family was brought in. The family tried to convince him to lay down arms but he did not relent,” he said.
The operation was then resumed after a couple of hours and the second militant was killed as well.
Sources said that the forces used explosives to blast the house and killed the second militant in the process. The house has been considerably damaged by the blast, according to reports.
Meanwhile, mobile internet services were snapped across Kulgam district soon after the first gunshots were fired. The services were yet to be restored when this report was filed.

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