Two Pakistanis among 6 terrorists killed in Kashmir

6 JeM militants, including two Pakistanis, killed in twin Kashmir encounters

All the six terrorists belong to the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group, said the police

Representative Image. Credit: IANS Photo

Six Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including two Pakistani nationals, and a soldier were killed in two separate encounters between security forces and ultras in south Kashmir districts of Anantnag and Kulgam during the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday.

Back-to-back encounters had started on Wednesday evening as security forces launched anti-terror operations at Nowgam, Anantnag and Mirhama village in Kulgam district.

“Six terrorists of proscribed terror outfit JeM killed in two separate encounters. Four among the killed terrorists have been identified so far as two Pakistani and two local terrorists. Identification of the other two terrorists is being ascertained. A big success for us,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said in a tweet.

In the first encounter, a joint team of J&K Police, Army and paramilitary forces cordoned off Nowgam village after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in the village, reports said. As the forces tightened the cordon, the militants hiding in the area opened indiscriminate fire and tried to break the security cordon. In the initial burst of gunfire from the militants, a policeman and two soldiers were injured.

The militants, however, failed to break the cordon resulting in an exchange of fire in which three ultras were killed, officials said. Two army soldiers and a policeman were also injured in the gunfight who were shifted to hospitals for treatment. However, one of the soldiers succumbed to his injuries.

While the Nowgam gun battle was ongoing, another encounter erupted in neighboring Kulgam district after security forces cordoned off Mirhama village following inputs about the presence of militants, police said. As the security forces zeroed in on the target, militants opened fire.

Three militants were killed after the forces fired in return, police said and added one M4, two AK rifles and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.  A police spokesman identified the slain militants as Mohammad Shafi Dar, Uzair Ahmad, both locals and one Pakistani militant Shahid alias Shahzaid.

There has been a spurt in anti-militancy operations in south Kashmir in the last week leading to the killing of 11 ultras. On Sunday, five militants were killed in three separate gunfights in Shopian, Pulwama and Anantnag districts.

A police officer attributed the increasing gunfights to changing weather and snow in the upper reaches of the valley. “Usually, there is an increase in gunfights at this point of the year as militants abandon their hideouts in forests for the winters and return to the villages. This leads to more information gathering and more gunfights,” he said.

This year in 87 encounters, 168 militants have been killed by the security forces in Kashmir. Among them, 19 were foreigners, while 149 were locals.

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