Six militants, two soldiers, civilian killed in Kashmir

ANI file photo.

Six militants, two soldiers and a civilian were killed in separate encounters between security forces and ultras in twin south Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Shopian on Thursday.
In a pre-dawn gunfight, security forces killed three militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit in Dalipora, Pulwama, 32 km from here. The gunfight erupted after army’s 55-Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group of Jammu and Kashmir police launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in the area during wee hours of Thursday following a ‘credible input’ about the presence of ultras in the area.
A police spokesperson said as the CASO was launched the militants fired upon a search party. “In the retaliatory action, three JeM militants were killed while three army men were also injured,” he said and added one of the injured army man succumb to his injuries later.
The slain militants were identified as JeM commander Khalid Bhai (resident of Pakistan), Naseer Ahmad Pandith and Umar Mir, both locals. The slain soldier was identified as Sandeep Kumar of 55-RR.
Reports said a civilian, the son of the house owner where militants were hiding, was also killed and his brother wounded during the gunfight. The deceased civilian was identified as Rayees Dar and his injured brother as Younis Dar. Medical Superintendent district hospital Pulwama confirmed his death.
Hours later three more militants and an army soldier were killed in a separate gunfight in Hendow village of neighbouring Shopian district. Reports said, the gunfight broke out after a joint team of army’s 44 RR, and police launched a CASO in Thursday afternoon in the area. 
A police officer said that three militants were killed in the gunfight and an army soldier sustained bullet injury during the operation. The injured soldier succumbed to his injuries at the army hospital later.
The slain militants were identified as Yawar Mushtaq, Shakeel Ahmad and Shakir Pal, all locals affiliated with indigenous Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit.
In the wake of the killing of the militants, the authorities suspended Internet services in Pulwama and Shopian, a common government practice, aimed to calm tensions and prevent anti-India demonstrations from being organized. 
According to official figures, 85 militants have been killed this year while the number was 272 in 2018. Post-February 14 Pulwama fidayeen (suicide) attack, 53 militants have been killed, of them 25 belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit.
Pulwama and neighbouring Shopian districts have been the primary focus of the security forces this year so far as out of total 85 militants killed across the Valley, 48 were killed in these twin districts alone in 22 encounters, official data reveals.


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