‘3 slain militants from Pulwama, one from Srinagar, one from Pakistan’
Anantnag: A local district commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), a Pakistani militant, and an army man were among 6 persons killed in an overnight gunfight between militants and government forces here in Pulwama district.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar termed the killing of the militants as “a big success”.
Police were yet to identify the slain militants, barring the district commander Nishad Hussain Lone, alias Khitab, a resident of Tral in Pulwama district. Police sources told Kashmir Reader that a Pakistani militant, by the name of Rehan, was among the slain militants.
“The other three are locals, two from Pulwama district and another from Srinagar,” a highly placed police source said. He identified the militants as Danish Manzoor of Kakapora, Pulwama; Amir Wagay of Hanjin Payeen Pulwama and Manzoor Ahmad of Srinagar.
“The bodies have been retrieved from the site of the gunfight along with arms and ammunition,” the police source said, adding that the bodies will be sent to north Kashmir for burial after completion of medico-legal formalities.
“Their families have been intimated and other formalities will be conducted after a proper identification process is concluded,” the police source said. The gunfight took place in Hanjin Payeen village of Rajpora in Pulwama district, staring around midnight of Thursday. “We had inputs regarding the presence of militants in the area, following which a cordon and search operation was launched,” a senior police officer from Pulwama said. The officer said that contact was established with the militants a little past midnight and they were given a chance to surrender, which they refused. “The militants opened indiscriminate fire instead. The fire was retaliated, triggering a gunfight,” he said.
In the initial phase of the gunfight, an army man received a bullet injury, the officer said, and was immediately evacuated to hospital. The army man did not survive, however. His identity was yet to be revealed by the army.
The locals meanwhile said that intense firing continued almost throughout the night and most part of the day today. “The firing was coupled with occasional blasts as well, as the forces used explosives on the house the militants were holed up in, damaging the house almost completely in the process,” local sources told Kashmir Reader.
The authorities snapped mobile internet services in the south Kashmir district soon after the gunfight began. The services were yet to be restored when this report was filed.