Eight militants killed in two separate gunfights in south Kashmir

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Srinagar: Eight militants were killed in two separate gunfights in Southern districts of Pulwama and Shopian in the past 24 hours. The slain include two militants who had taken refuge inside a mosque in Meej area of Pampore in Pulwama district.

Earlier on yesterday, one unidentified militant was killed in a gunfight that broke out in the village Bandpawa in Chitragam Tehsil of Shopian district.

Quoting unnamed officials a local news gathering agency Kashmir News Observer reported that with the first light of the day, four more militants were killed taking the total number of slain militants in Bandpawa gunfight to five.

A security official told the news agency that as the operation progressed, amid heavy exchange of firing from both sides, four more militants were killed in the gunfight taking the total number of militants killed to five. “The bodies of five slain have been retrieved and their identity and affiliation is being ascertained,” the official said, adding that the arms and ammunition have been recovered from the slain militants.

Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel Rajesh Kalia, however, confirmed the killing of four militants stating that the Ops was on.

About the Meej encounter in Pampore area of Pulwama, Inspector General of Police Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar said that “patience and professionalism worked.”

“No use of firing and IED. Used tear smoke shells only. Maintained sanctity of the mosque. Both militants hiding inside the mosque neutralized,” he said. With the killing of two more militants, the total number of slain militants in Meej gunfight has reached to three as of early morning yesterday, one unidentified militant was killed while two had entered into a local mosque.

In two separate gunfights, the number of militants killed has reached to eight in the past 24 hours.

Defence spokesman in Srinagar Rajesh Kalia said that maintaining the sanctity of the mosque, two militants hiding inside the mosque have been killed. “Total three militants killed. It was a precise operation with no collateral damage ensured,” he said.

Pertinently, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar recently said that militancy stands almost wiped out from South Kashmir and the police would now shift its focus towards north Kashmir from next month.

This year so far, 102 militants including top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed that include Reyaz Naikoo, the chief operational commander of Hizbul, Bashir Koka of Lashkar and Abdur Rehman alias Fouji Bhai of Pakistan, who was an IED expert of Jaish.

Figures suggest that 72 militants including the five slain today, were killed alone since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in Kashmir on March 20. In the past two weeks, 32 militants were killed in two southern districts of Shopian and Pulwama—(KNO)

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