Two militants killed in Rafiabad gunfight

Srinagar: Two militants were killed in Rafiabad area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Saturday morning, police said.

A police official told GNS that after receiving specific information regarding the presence of militants in Thake Gund area of Rafiabad, army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cordoned off the area and started search operation. The outer cordon was conducted by 32 RR, he said.

As the searches were underway, the hiding militants opened fire on forces ensuing gunfire. “By 11:30 am, both the militants were gunned down,” an official said, adding, no forces’ personal was injured or killed in the operation.

Police identified the slain militants as Abu Saad and Abu Noman, who were associated with militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). The duo hail from Pakistan, the police said.

Official sources told GNS that the duo had escaped at least four times from the dragnet of forces. “The duo escaped at Dooru, Saidpora, Terhaar and Zaloora forests,” they said.

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The area where encounter took place falls in Sopore police district.

Police said duo was part of a group of eight militants who had infiltrated in September 2013. “Two of their associates were killed in an encounter in Saidpora area of Sopore in the month of January this year,” police said.

“They were involved in a spate of violent incidents including IED blast near Watergam in which one army personal was injured, attack on Army convoy in Drugmulla area of Kupwara last year. They were also involved in grenade lobbing during parliamentary elections and IED blast on Baramulla Kupwara highway last year,” the police said.

The police claimed that the slain militants were planning to reactivate LeT base in Sopore and besides had ‘devilish designs’ to gear up militant activities in Sopore and adjoining areas. (GNS)