SRINAGAR: Eight militants of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed in two separate encounters in the restive south Kashmir region on Friday.
With these latest encounters, as many as 102 militants have been eliminated in the Kashmir Valley this year.
Director General of Police Dilbagh Sing told the media that two militants, who were holed up in a mosque at Pampore area in Pulwama district were killed in the gunfight during the night.
“One militant was killed in a gunfight in a residential house on Thursday evening while two others had escaped and taken refuge in a local mosque,” he said.
The DGP said officers and troops exercised restraint during the operation. No damage was caused to the mosque, he added. IG, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said to maintain sanctity of the mosque and to ensure zero damage to it, security forces exhibited highest level of patience and professionalism.
“They fired tear smoke shells and appealed both the trapped militants to surrender but they didn’t,” he said.
A video of a local cleric Fayaz Ahmad Khan has gone viral on social media in which he thanked police and security forces for exercising restraint to prevent any damage to the mosque during the operation.
The IG said five militants were also killed in a night-long encounter with security forces in Shopian district.
Meanwhile, General Officer Commanding of Army’s 15 Corps Lieutenant General B S Raju said 49 local youth had joined militancy this year and 27 of them have been killed in encounters so far.
“It doesn’t give us a pleasure to kill young men. But if anybody picks up arms, we will do what we are doing,” he said.