Two militants killed in Pulwama; 20 injured in clashes

Qayoom Khan
Srinagar: Two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed and two policemen were injured in a gunfight that broke out at Newa area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

A police official told GNS on the receipt of specific information about the presence of a group of militants in Malwari village of Newa, a joint operation was launched by army’s 55 Rashtriya Rifles, 183 CRPF and SOG Pulwama this morning at around 8 am. “As the cordon was placed and searches was launched, militants hiding inside a house fired upon the search parties,” said the police official, adding that 2 militants were killed while trying to break the cordon.

Sources said that the militants were hiding in the house of one Ghulam Rasool Shergujri, whose wife Jigri is a PDP Panch. As the encounter was underway, hundreds of protesters tried to march towards the gunfight site but were intercepted by government forces ensuing clashes between two sides. Police used dozens of teargas shells against the protesters.

The police identified the two militants as Manzoor Ahmad resident of Gandi Bagh Kakpora and another is yet to be identified. Police said the unidentified is believed to be a foreigner whose code name is Abu Ayaan. “It is believed that Abu Ayaan was part of the same group which had recently infiltrated and two members of that group had perpetrated the recent attack in Pampore on CRPF,” said the police official.

The official said that during the encounter the two cops sustained “minor splinter injuries”. “The following recoveries were made: AK 47 rifle, 4 magazines, 56 rounds, one Pistol, 1 pistol magazine, 2 pistol rounds and other war like stores,” he added. Sources said one militant managed to escape from the encounter spot.

Meanwhile, the killings of two militants sparked off massive protests and clashes in parts of Pulwama district including in Main Town Pulwama amid a shutdown.

According to GNS, soon after the news about the killings spread a shutdown was observed in Main Town of Pulwama and adjoining areas besides there was already a shutdown at Newa and Kakapora. The youths clashed with forces at Muran Chowk, Rajpora Chowk and Newa throughout the day leaving 20 injured.

Meanwhile, thousands of people attended the funeral of LeT militant, Manzoor amid pro-freedom protests. The people raised slogans in favour of Azadi, Islam and against India. He was laid to rest in local martyrs’ graveyard. Police didn’t handover body of another militant to people. Reports said after the burial, militants “gave a gun salute” to their slain associate. (GNS)

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