Two militants killed in ongoing Pulwama encounter

Two militants killed in ongoing Pulwama encounter

'Hizbul commander Naikoo gives slip to forces in separate gun battle'

Two militants killed in ongoing Pulwama encounter

Two militants were killed, while six persons, including two soldiers, were injured in an ongoing encounter in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Monday, where a similar operation at another village was called off in the wee hours.

A police spokesperson said security forces launched a search operation in Bahmnoovillage Pulwama, 36 km from here, on Monday morning following information about the presence of a group of militants in the area. "While two of the militants have been killed, firing from the debris of the house is still going on. Two army personnel sustained minor injuries when a grenade was hurled from the debris of the house while the security forces were retrieving the bodies of two killed ultras," he said.

Sources said there is a possibility that two more militants were trapped in the area and the security forces have tightened the cordon around the village to ensure they don't escape. The slain militants have been identified as Kifayat and Jehangir Khanday, both locals affiliated to Zakir Musa group.

Reports said that stone-pelting protests were going on in dozens of adjacent villages to disrupt the security forces’ operation against the militants. Four youth were hit by bullets after security forces opened fire to disperse protesters, reports added.

The operation comes barely 10 hours after stone pelting protesters helped a group of militants escape a cordon and search operation in the neighbouring Malangpora village.

Reports said that the operation was called off around 1 am (in the night) after militants managed to give a slip to the forces. Unconfirmed reports said that top commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Riyaz Naikoo was present along with two associates when the operation was launched in the village.

On Saturday, Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Bashir Lashkari - who was behind the killing of SHO Feroz Dar last month - and his accomplice were killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir. Kashmir has witnessed a surge in violence this year with 164 persons, including 30 civilians, killed in militancy related incidents across the valley so far.

Meanwhile, a cop and a civilian were injured in a militant attack on a police patrol in Anantnag town of south Kashmir on Monday.

Sources said militants opened fire at a police party near bus stand Anantnag, 52 km from here, leaving a cop and a woman injured. The condition of the injured policeman, identified as Ghulam Hassan, is stated to be critical as he has received multiple gunshots, they said.

The injured woman was identified as Sumit Kaur. The area where the attack occurred is one of the routes for the ongoing Amarnathji Yatra. No militant outfit claimed responsibility for the attack till evening.

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