Five Hizbul, LeT militants killed in Kulgam encounter

Five local militants, belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Chowgam area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Saturday.

Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said that the operation ended with the killing of five militants at Chowgam, Kulgam, 72 km from Srinagar. “Bodies of the slain militants along with weapons and other war-like stores were recovered,” he said in a statement.

Four of the five slain militants have been identified as Gulzar Padder alias Saif Faisal Rather alias Dawood, Zahid Mir alias Hashim, Masroor Molvi alias Abu Darda and Zahoor Lone alias Rehman Bhai, all locals, affiliated with Hizbul and LeT.

The gunfight broke out late on Friday night after a joint team of the army and police launched a cordon-and-search operation in Chowgam following specific inputs about the presence of militants. 

“As the security forces intensified searches, the hiding militants opened fire triggering a gunfight. The forces razed to ground the house in which the militants were hiding,” sources said, adding that Hizbul and LeT militants were having a meeting when the security forces cordoned off the area.

Police said Paddar was involved in a series of militant attacks, including the killing of five police personnel at Pombay in May last year along with two bank guards. “He was also involved in the killings of a policeman, weapon snatching and bank robbery cases,” a police spokesperson stated.

Zahid Mir was wanted for his involvement in the killing of policeman Fayaz Ahmad on Eid this year. The latest encounter came just two days after security forces killed eight militants in three separate encounters in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, reports said clashes broke out near the encounter site as a large number of youths started pelting stones on security forces. At least five youths were injured during clashes with the forces.

Following the gunfight, train services were suspended. Mobile Internet services were also snapped in Kulgam district.

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Five Hizbul, LeT militants killed in Kulgam encounter

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