SRINAGAR: Two militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad were killed in 20-hour long gunfight with security forces in apple town Sopore in north Kashmir's Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.
DIG of police north Kashmir Atul Goel told this newspaper that based on credible information, a joint team of police, CRPF and army men launched cordon and search operation in Warpora area of Sopore in Baramulla district last evening.
As the security men were conducting searches, they came under heavy fire from militants hiding in the area. The fire was returned by the troops, triggering an encounter.
In the ensuing gunfight, which continued till evening today, two militants were killed. Sources said the gunfight prolonged as militants were continuously changing their positions and firing on the security men.
Two residential houses and two cowsheds were damaged during the gunfight. The DIG said both the deceased militants belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammad and their identity was being ascertained."It was a clean operation. There was no collateral damage or injuries to security men in the gunfight," he said.
Asked why the operation prolonged, DIG said, "It was a congested area and for first six hours, we evacuated the civilians from the area. We ensured that there was no collateral damage during the operation".
It was the second encounter between militants and security forces after February 14 Jaish's suicide car bombing on CRPF bus killed 40 paramilitary personnel and injured many others.
In both the encounters since February 14, Jaish militants were involved. On Feb 18, three Jaish militants including two Pakistanis were killed in the gunfight at Pinglana, Pulwama. Four army men including a Major, a policeman and a civilian were also killed in the gunfight.