Kashmir: militant killed in ongoing encounter

An unidentified militant was killed in a pre-dawn encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s restive Kulgam district on Wednesday. File photo

An unidentified militant was killed in a pre-dawn encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s restive Kulgam district on Wednesday.

A police official said that after a credible input about the presence of militants in Gopalpora village of the district, 75 kms from here, a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) was launched by the army’s 34-Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group of Jammu and Kashmir police, during wee hours of Wednesday.

He said the gunfight began after the militants fired upon a search party from a residential house where they were hiding. “In the retaliatory action, one militant has been killed so far,” he said, and added that the identity and group affiliation of the slain ultra was not known immediately.

The CASO in the area was going on when the reports last came in. In the wake of the killing of the militant, the authorities suspended Internet services in Kulgam, a common government practice, aimed to calm tensions and prevent anti-India demonstrations from being organized. 

There has been a spurt in encounters between security forces and ultras after the Lok Sabha polls ended in the state on May 6, with 16 ultras, two army soldiers and two civilians getting killed. 

The latest encounter comes just three days after four militants, including the one involved in the killing of solider Aurangzeeb last year, were killed in two separate gunfights with security forces in Pulwama and Sopore areas of Kashmir on Friday.

Earlier on May 16, five militants, two soldiers and two civilians were killed in two separate gunfights in Pulwama and Shopian districts of south Kashmir.

According to official figures, 90 militants have been killed this year, while the number was 272 in 2018. 

58 militants have been killed after the fidayeen (suicide) attack in Pulwama on February 14, with 25 of them belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit.

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