House blown up with explosives, curfew imposed in town area
Anantnag: Three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, one of them a Pakistani ‘commander’ of the outfit, were killed in an overnight gunfight with government forces here in the main town of Pulwama district in south Kashmir, police said.
Kashmir Range Inspector-General of Police (IGP) congratulated government forces for a “smooth” operation and confirmed that one of the militants killed in the gunfight was Aijaz, alias Abu Huraira, the Pakistani commander of the outfit.
The other two slain militants were from Pulwama district, identified by a police source as Javed Ahmad Rather, son of Abdul Gani, a resident of Tahab, and Shahnawaz Ganaie, son of Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Samboora village.
“The bodies, along with arms and ammunition, have been retrieved and will be sent to an undisclosed location for burial, following medico-legal formalities,” the police source said.
The authorities have not been handing over bodies of local militants to their families since April last year. The militants are being buried, in presence of a few family members in north Kashmir to curb large-scale funerals of militants, which had become a norm in recent years.
The gunfight today took place in New Colony area of main town Pulwama, where militants were holed up in a residential house. A senior police official told Kashmir Reader that the area was cordoned off at about midnight Tuesday following inputs regarding the presence of militants there.
“The militants were asked to surrender but they did not pay heed and opened indiscriminate fire instead,” the police official said, adding that the fire was retaliated and a gunbattle ensued.
The gunfight continued till around 9:00 AM Wednesday morning. “All three militants have been killed in the gunfight,” the official said.
Police have retrieved 2 AK-47 rifles and a pistol from the site of the gunfight, he said.
Local sources told Kashmir Reader that the house militants were holed up in suffered extensive damage. “Even some of the nearby houses suffered some damage as forces used explosives to kill the militants,” the local sources said.
Also, the sources said, this morning some locals assembled around the site of the gunfight and minor protests erupted in the area, following which the authorities imposed a curfew across Pulwama town.
“Announcements were made by the forces ordering everyone to stay indoors as a curfew was imposed in the town,” the local sources said.
Also, mobile internet services were snapped across Pulwama district soon after the first shots were fired in New Colony area. The internet services were yet to be resumed when this report was filed.