Three militants, two civilians, solider, killed

Three militants, two civilians, solider, killed

Srinagar, DHNS: Three militants, including an engineering-graduate-turned-Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) commander, two civilians and a soldier were killed in separate gun battles between the militants and security forces across Kashmir on Thursday.

In the Dooru area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, LeT commander Asif Malik alias Abu Ukasha of Khahgund, Verinag and a soldier were killed in a fierce gun battle which erupted early Thursday morning, reports said.

The slain militant was reportedly an engineering graduate while the slain soldier was identified as Happy Singh of 19 Rashtriya Rifles (RR).

Sources said the gunfight broke out after security forces ambushed a militant group in Gasigund village of the district.

"LeT commander of Pakistani-origin Naveed Jaat alias Hanzla, who had been trapped during the encounter, managed to escape from the encounter site," they said.

Naveed Jatt made a dramatic escape from jail in February this year after he shot dead two policemen who had brought him to a hospital for health check-up in Srinagar.

Additional Director General Police (ADGP) Munir Ahmad Khan said they believe Naveed received bullet injuries while fleeing from the encounter site.

"A search operation is underway in the area," he said.

In a separate incident, a civilian was killed after security forces opened fire during a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Noorbagh area of Qamarwari in old city Srinagar.

A police official said the security forces launched a CASO in the area at around 5 am following inputs about presence of militants in a house belonging to one Yaqoob Malik.

While police claims the house owner's son Saleem Malik was killed in cross-firing while the militants managed to escape, his family blamed security forces for his "targeted" killing.

"He (Malik junior) owned a flock of sheep and during the night, he woke up due to some noise outside. He thought that were thieves and came out to have a look at the shed. The forces opened fire on him when he was trying to have a look outside the courtyard,” Malik’s uncle, Mohammad Yaseen told reporters.

Immediately after the incident, restrictions were imposed in old city areas to thwart protests against the civilian killing. Separatist leaders while condemning the civilian killing called for a shutdown on Friday.

In the Panzan area of central Kashmir's Budgam district, two militants were killed in a fierce encounter with security forces. The gunfight broke out early Thursday morning after forces launched a CASO in the area.

The spokesman identified the slain militants as Sheeraz Bhat and Irfan Dar, both locals. Dar was a former special police officer (SPO) and had deserted a couple of months ago. Both the militants were affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant outfit, he added.

In north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, an unidentified man was killed during an army ambush, police said.

"He was challenged and there were some warning shots during which he was hit by a bullet. He was given medical treatment, however he could not be saved," SSP Kupwara Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar, said and added that they were trying to ascertain the identity of the man who appears to be a non-local.