Three gunfights rattle parts of Kashmir in 24 hours

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Srinagar: Four militants including two locals were killed in three separate gunfights in Kashmir in last 24 hours, police said Tuesday.

Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, including a Pakistani national, were killed in a pre-dawn gunfight on Tuesday in Chatkaras Kandi area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

A top official told a local news agency—Kashmir news observer (KNO) that joint team of J-K police and army cordoned off Chatkaras Kandiarea of Kupwara area after inputs about the presence of militants in the area. “As the joint team was searching for the militants, they came under fire and retaliated. Two militants were killed in the gunfight,” he said.

The slain militants were affiliated with LeT outfit, the police official said. “One of them has been identified as Tufail, a Pakistani citizen while as other was identified as Ishtiyak Lone from Tral Pulwama,” the official said.

In another gunfight that started on Monday evening, a non-local militant was killed in Zaloora, Sopore area of Baramulla district while as his three associates managed to escape from the spot, police said.

Another gunfight broke out on Tuesday afternoon at Badimarg area of Shopian district in which a B.V. Sc student turned militant was killed. An official told KNO that a joint team of police, Army and CRPF after receiving information about the presence of militants launched search operation in the area.

He said that as the joint team of forces intensified searches towards suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon the party, which was retaliated, thus triggering a gunfight. “During exchange of fire, so far one militant has been killed while as operation is going on,” the official said.

He identified the slain militant as Nadeem Ahmad Rather alias Dr. Raja Nadeem, son of Abdul Rehman Rather resident of Ashmuji Kulgam who was missing since 27 March 2020.

He further added that before joining ranks Nadeem was student of Bachelor of Veterinary Science (B.V. Sc) at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKAUST).

“Killed militant identified as Nadeem Ahmad Rather alias Kamran of #Kulgam, linked with proscribed terror outfit HM. He was involved in several #terror crimes including #killing of Kulpora Panch and #recruitment of youth into terror ranks,” Kashmir Police zone tweeted while quoting IGP Kashmir.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a statement to KNO said that based on specific input generated by Police regarding movement of militants in Kandi area of Kupwara, a joint special operation was launched by Police and Army (47RR). “During search, the joint party came under heavy volume of fire from the militants, which was retaliated effectively leading to an encounter,” he said. “In the ensuing encounter, two militants including a foreign militant were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They have been identified as local militant Ishtiaq Ahmad Lone resident of Tral and a Pakistani militant Tufail resident of Lahore, linked with proscribed terror outfit LeT.”

The spokesman said that it is believed that the group was meant to receive the escaped militants from yesterday’s operation conducted in Zaloora area of Sopore in which one Pakistani LeT militant was killed and three militants managed to escape.

“Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 02 AK-series rifles have been recovered from the site of encounter. Further, search operation in the area is still going on to nab the other hiding militants,” the spokesman said.

He said that “in another anti-militant operation launched by Police, Army (34RR) and 178 Bn CRPF in the orchards of Badimarg Aloora area of Shopian following a specific input about presence of a militant in the area. As the joint party proceeded towards the suspected spot the hiding militant fired indiscriminately upon the joint forces which was retaliated leading to the elimination of a militant identified as Nadeem Ahmad Rather alias Kamran son of Abdul Rehman resident of Ashmuji Kulgam.”

The statement said that “as per police records, the killed militant was a categorized militant, active since year 2020 and was earlier affiliated with proscribed terror outfit LeT and recently switched to proscribed terror outfit HM.”

“The killed militant was part of the groups involved in several terror cases including attacks on Police/SF and civilian atrocities. The killed militant was involved in Kulpora Panch’s killing on 02/03/2022. He was also instrumental in reviving the terror folds of HM in Kulgam by recruiting the gullible youth into terror folds,” the statement said, adding that incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including 01 AK rifle and 01 SLR have been recovered from the site of gunfight—(KNO)

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