3 Pakistani militants killed in J&K encounter

3 Pakistani militants killed in J&K encounter

Three Pakistani militants and a woman were killed in an overnight encounter between security forces and ultras in north Kashmir's frontier Kupwara district on Monday.

Sources said that the Army's 22-Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group (SOG) of J&K Police launched a search operation in Younsu area of Handwara during the intervening night of Sunday and Monday, after specific input about presence of militants there.

"During the search operation, terrorists fired on security forces and tried to take advantage of darkness to flee from the area. However, security forces retaliated fire and all the three terrorists hiding in the area were killed after intense firing," they said.

State police chief Shesh Pal Vaid while confirming the killing of three militants, said: "In Unsoo Handwara, all the three Pakistani militants have been neutralised by the joint forces."

"It has been raining the whole night and boys (security personnel) were out there in the cold," he tweeted. The bodies of the slain militants along with many assault rifles were recovered from the encounter site, police said.

A woman, identified as Misra Bano, was also killed during the gunfight. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) north Kashmir V K Birdi said that the woman was killed in the crossfire after she tried to escape from the house where the militants were trapped.

Reports said anti-India and pro-freedom slogans were raised during the funeral of the slain woman in Younsu village. Mourners braved rains and cold weather and marched to the village to take part in her last rites.

Meanwhile, Internet services were snapped in some parts of north Kashmir, including Baramulla, Sopore and Kupwara to prevent rumour mongering on social media.

With militancy, especially home-grown, on the rise, security forces have launched a massive operation to flush out the ultras. Nearly 210 militants have been killed this yea - the highest in seven years. Security forces are going after militants as part of "operation all out" and on the basis of a "hit list" of militants.

While south Kashmir remains the stronghold of local militants, northern parts of the Valley, being infiltration route, are dominated by foreign ultras. 

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