2 militants, including army deserter killed, in Kashmir

The spokesperson said the forces retaliated the fire, leading to an encounter in which two militants were killed. File photo

Two militants, including a deserter from the army, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Zainapora area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday.
 
Police said the slain militants were residents of Shopian district and were affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit. A police spokesman said a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) was launched in Safanagri village before dawn following ‘credible’ inputs about the presence of militants in the area. 
 
“As the search operation was going on, the hiding militants fired on security forces party. The fire was retaliated, leading to an encounter,” he said and added in the ensuing gunfight two militants were killed.
 
He identified the slain militants as Mohammad Idrees Sultan alias Chota Abrar and Amir Hussain Rather alias Abu Sobaan Awneera, both residents of Shopian. “They were affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and were involved in attacks on security establishments and many other civilian atrocities in the area,” the spokesman said.
 
Idress, he said, was a former army soldier and had deserted his JAKLI unit in Bihar in April this year. Last year in July another army man from Kashmir had deserted his unit along with an AK 47 rifle to join Hizbul. Sources said three youths from Shopian, including Idrees, had joined militancy after the April 1 twin gunfights in the district in which 12 militants and four civilians were killed. 
 
While several policemen in the last three and half years have joined militancy after fleeing with their service weapons, the security establishment has termed army men joining militant ranks is a dangerous trend. “But with the killing of Idrees, we are hopeful that nobody in future follows his path,” a senior police officer said.

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2 militants, including army deserter killed, in Kashmir

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