Four militants, soldier killed in Kashmir's Shopian

PTI file photo for representation.

Four militants and an army commando were killed while two soldiers were wounded in a fierce gun battle between ultras and security forces in south Kashmir's Shopian district on Tuesday morning.
 
Four civilians, including three girls, were injured during clashes near the site of a gunfight in Nadigam village of Shopian, 58 kms from here.
 
The gunfight erupted after a joint team of army's 34Rastriya Rifles, 23 PARA and J&K police cordoned off Nadigam village at around am following 'credible inputs' about the presence of militants in the area, sources said. As the joint team of forces approached the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired a volley of bullets, injuring three soldiers.
 
"The forces blasted the house where the militants were hiding. Four bodies were recovered from the encounter site," they said and added the identity and the group affiliation of the injured soldiers were being established.
 
An army official identified the injured soldiers as sepoy Shailender Singh of 34 RR, Lance Naik Somveer and Havaldar Bhupinder Singh, both from 23 PARA. He said the wounded soldiers was shifted to 92 Base hospital in Srinagar, where one of them succumbed.
 
Reports said that ten civilians, including three girls were injured during clashes with the security forces near the encounter site. The injured girls were identified as Simran Jan, Meenu Jan and Rafia Jan who have suffered bullet injuries. A health official said that Simran suffered bullet injury in her abdomen while Meenu and Rafia were hit by bullets in foot and leg respectively.
 
He said all the four injured persons were shifted to a hospital in Srinagar for specialised treatment. Internet services have been shut down in Shopian as a precautionary measure.
 
There have been a number of encounters between security forces and militants in Shopian recently. On November 18, two militants associated with Al-Badr outfit were killed in an encounter in Rebban area of Shopian.
 
Stepping up their winter offensive, security forces have launched major counter-insurgency operations against militants across the valley. In October out of 30 killed militants, three were district-level commanders and a well-trained sniper, who picked targets in the darkness of night. The killed ultras included Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) scholar-turned-militant commander Manan Wani and an army deserted who had joined militant ranks earlier this year.
 
Nearly 200 militants have been killed in Kashmir this year while 217 ultras were killed in 2017 which was highest in the last nine years. Army maintains that recruitment of local youth into militancy has seen a decline in Kashmir during the recent months.
 
“The recruitment of local youth in militant outfits has been persistent during past couple of years. However, we have seen a drop in it (recruitment) in the past two months,” General-officer-Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, recently said.

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Four militants, soldier killed in Kashmir's Shopian

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