Srinagar, Nov 23: In a fierce gunfight, six Kashmiri militants were killed in in Sekipora area of Bijbehera in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday morning.
Srinagar based defense spokesperson said that six militants were killed in the operation. “Weapons and warlike stores were also recovered.” he said.
Police sources said that a predawn gunfight broke out in the village after government forces launched a massive cordon and search operation in the area.
“As the forces zeroed in at the location where militants were suspected to be hiding, the hiding militants fired on the forces triggering a gunfight.”
All the six slain militants were turned out to be locals. Top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada of Arwani was among the six slain militants.
The other militants who died in the firefight were identified as Basit Ahmad Mir of Pushwara Islamabad affiliated with LeT, Atif Nazar of Waghama, Firdous Ahmad of Pulwama, Unais Shafi Bhat of Takiya Maqsood Shah Bijbehara and Shahid Malik from Awantipora affiliated with Hizbul Mujhadeen.
A police official said the four among six slain were affiliated with Hizb ul-Mujahideen militant group.
The militants killed in a gunfight at Sutkipora area of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district include Azad Malik, who police claim was involved in the assassination of journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar.
Bukhari, was leaving his office in Srinagar when three assailants riding on a motorcycle shot him and two of his bodyguards on June 14 this year.
Authorities suspended train service while internet service was also suspended to block flow of information. Despite strict security arrangements massive clashes erupted in the area.
General Officer Commanding 15 Core Lieutenant General AK Bhat termed the killing of six militants by soldiers as ‘surgical strike.’ He said it was a clean and neat operation where no civilian sustained any injury. “The encounter was a surgical operation and is a big achievement for security agencies as there were no casualties of forces or civilians in this operation,” he added.
The killing of six militant sparked spontaneous shutdown in the district. Reports said that a pall of gloom descended in the district soon after the news of an encounter followed by the killing of six militants spread in the district. All the shops and other business establishments remained shut closed while traffic movement also remained off the roads. Clashes were reported from Khanabal- Naibasti localities of the town.