Anantnag: Three militants were killed in two different gunfights between government forces and militants in Srinagar city and Pulwama district of South Kashmir, police said.
They have been identified as Manzoor alias Haider @ Hamzah of Pakistani and Shahid Ahmed Khan son of Mohi-ud-din Khan resident of Batpora in Pulwama and Fayaz Sheikh son of Gh Rasool Sheikh resident of Shahpora in Ganderbal. The trio was affiliated with the militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba.
The first gunfight was reported from Naina Batpora area of the Pulwama district, where two militants were holed up in a mosque complex. “The militants were holed up in a structure separate from the mosque,” Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP), Vijay Kumar has said.
Kumar said that every precaution was taken not to damage the mosque structure, while the militants were engaged in a gunfight.
The operation was started in Naina Batpora at about 8:30 AM Thursday morning, “following inputs regarding presence of militants in the area,”
A senior police official from the Pulwama district said that the place, where militants were holed up, was identified and the militants were asked to surrender.
“They were given ample chances to surrender and were repeatedly asked to lay down their arms,” the official said, adding that the militants remained adamant and opened fire.
The fire, the official said, was retaliated and in the ensuing gunfight, both the militants were killed. Bodies of the militants have been retrieved, “along with arms and ammunition and some incriminating material,”
Later in the day, another militant from Pakistan was killed in a brief shootout with government forces in the Hazratbal area of Srinagar. Kumar said that the militants, three in number, had come with the intent of snatching weapons from policemen guarding the shrine.
“The alert policemen however acted in time and shot dead one of the militants while the other two managed to flee,” Kumar told mediapersons in Hazratbal.
He said that the slain militant is a foreigner and had been active in Srinagar for the last six months now. “Police are going to foil all such bids, even as militants are taking shelter at religious places,” Kumar said.