SRINAGAR: Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including a commander, were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Sopore area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday.
Acting on a tip-off, a team comprising the district police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Army launched a joint combing and search operation in Pazalpora area of Sopore on Tuesday evening, a police spokesperson said and added that the security personnel encircled a house where the militants were hiding. “The holed-up militants were asked to surrender through loud speakers and other means,” the spokesperson said.
However, the militants refused to surrender and opened fire with AK-47 rifles. The troops returned fire and in the gunfight, which continued till Wednesday morning, the two Hizbul militants were killed. The house was damaged in the gunfight.
The slain militants were identified as Gulzar Ahmad Lone alias Ibrahim, district commander of Hizb, and Basit Ahmad Mir alias Tahir. Ibrahim hailed from Sopore, while Tahir is from Pattan area of Baramulla. They were involved in a number of criminal activities. “Lone was involved in the Sopore mobile tower attacks. He was instigating and luring youngsters to join the militant group in Sopore,” the spokesman said.
Two AK 47 rifles, five AK magazines, 124 AK rounds, two pouches and a grenade were recovered from the encounter site. Police handed over the bodies of the militants to their family members. Later, hundreds of people attended the funeral of the militants, raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
Two additional battalions — 2,000 men — of the Army will be sent as reinforcement to four troubled districts of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. With the presence of additional forces in Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama, some Army camps in Shopian and Pulwama will be revived again, they said.
Meanwhile, militants attacked the CRPF camp of 180th battalion in Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday evening. The militants fired two grenades towards the CRPF camp. The grenades exploded outside the premises and did not cause any damage or injuries. It was the second attack on the CRPF camp in June.