Three AuGH militants killed in Kashmir’s Shopian

Three AuGH militants killed in Kashmir’s Shopian

An Army officer, a soldier and a woman also sustained injuries during the gunfight

Representative image

Three militants were killed while an army officer, a soldier and a civilian were injured in an overnight encounter between security forces and ultras in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Wednesday.

A police official said while one militant was killed on Tuesday evening, two were gunned down on Wednesday. An Army officer, a soldier and a woman also sustained injuries during the gunfight, which had erupted on Tuesday evening at Melhora in Zainapora area of Shopian, he said.

Earlier, police said that on ‘specific inputs’ about the presence of militants, a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) was launched in the area by a joint team of security forces including 55 Rashtriya Rifles and J&K Police. During the searches, the hiding militants fired upon the forces, which retaliated, triggering an encounter.

Pertinently, four militants of Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind (AuGH), an affiliate of Al Qaeda in Kashmir, were killed in an encounter with security forces in the same village on April 22. While police did not divulge the details about identification and group affiliation of the slain militants, sources said, they were affiliated with AuGH and one of them is its Kashmir chief Burhan Koka.

In recent days, as part of new strategy, police do not reveal the identities of the slain militants and all the bodies of local ultras are taken either to north Kashmir or central Kashmir’s Sonamarg for burial to avoid huge gatherings at funerals.

In the last 10-days, seven encounters have been reported in south Kashmir in which 20 local militants and one of their associates have been killed. Over 60 militants, including several top commanders of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) have been killed in counter-insurgency operations by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir this year so far. April witnessed the highest number of militant casualties with 30 ultras killed so-far.