Two Hizbul militants killed in Kashmir’s Pulwama

Two Hizbul militants killed in Kashmir’s Pulwama

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Tikken area of Pulwama in south Kashmir after receiving a specific information about the presence of militants there, they said. (DH File Photo)

Two militants of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit were killed in an encounter with security forces in Tikken area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.

Reports said the gunfight erupted after personnel from the Army’s -Rashtriya Rifles, police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) launched a cordon-and-search operation in Athoora area of Pulwama, 36 kilometres from Srinagar, following ‘credible input’ about the presence of militants in the area.

As the security forces were conducting searches they were fired upon and in the retaliatory action two militants were killed, the report added. The slain militants were identified as Liyaqat Wani and Wajid-ul-Islam, both residents of Pulwama and affiliated with Hizbul, police said.

“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter. Police have registered a case and initiated investigation in the matter,” a police spokesman said.

The latest encounter comes a day after a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in neighbouring Tral area. There has been a spurt in encounters between security forces and militants in the last few weeks. 

Only in October, 30 militants, including three district-level commanders and a well-trained sniper, who picked targets in the darkness of night, were killed. The killed ultras included Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) scholar-turned-militant commander Manan Wani and Sabzar Ahmad Sofi, who had an M. Phil and had passed the National Eligibility Test (NET).

Nearly 190 militants have been killed in Kashmir this year while 217 ultras were killed in 2017 which was highest in the last nine years. The security forces are going after militants as part of "operation all out" and on the basis of a “hit list” of ultras.

However, civilian support and sympathy for militants has increased since the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani in July 2016, which has become a concern to the state.