Anantnag: Four local militants, members of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Al-Badr, were killed in two separate gunfights with government forces in Pulwama and Kulgam districts of south Kashmir.
The slain militants were identified as Kifayat Ramzan Sofi son of Mohammad Ramzan Sofi resident of Padgampora Awantipora and Inayat Ahmad Dar son of Abdul Ahad Dar of Samboora Pulwama, Nasir Ahmad Pandith son of Mohammad Ayoub resident of Redwani Kulgam and Shahbaz Ahmad Shah son of Ghulam Hassan Shah resident of Katrusu Kulgam.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said that all the four slain militants belonged to LeT and Al-Badr. “The two killed in Kulgam were killed in close vicinity of the national highway. They were planning a strike in the area,” Kumar told reporters in Srinagar.
The Pulwama gunfight was the first one to break out. At around midnight on Wednesday, government forces cordoned off Puchal village in the district following inputs regarding the presence of militants in the area.
“The house the militants were hiding in was identified and the militants were asked to surrender. They were given every chance to lay down their arms,” a police officer from Pulwama said, adding that the militants instead opened indiscriminate fire.
The fire, he said, was retaliated and after an intense gunfight the militants were killed.
Local sources told Kashmir Reader that forces used explosives to flush out the militants, substantially damaging the house they were holed up in.
Later in the night, forces cordoned off Zadora village in Mirbazar area of Qazigund, here in Kulgam district, following inputs of militant presence. “At around 3:00 am, the cordon was laid and by 3:30, the militants tried to escape the house they were hiding in,” a police officer from Kulgam said.
Both the militants, he said, were killed outside the house. “Arms and ammunition have been retrieved,” he said.
Bodies of all the four militants were retrieved and taken away for medico-legal formalities and a quiet burial at an unidentified place in north Kashmir.
“Families have been intimated and called in to identify the militants,” the police source said.
Meanwhile, mobile internet services in both the districts were snapped and were yet to be restored when this report was filed.