Tral, Dec 22: At least six local militants were killed in a brief gunfight at Armpora village of Tral town in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
All the six militants according to police were affiliated with Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, led by Zakir Musa.
A police official told news agency CNS that after receiving inputs about the movement of militants in Armpora village, combined forces cordoned off the area. The official added the Forces fired some warning shots towards a “militant hideout” situated in an orchard along the Tral-Awantipora road. The militant group hiding inside the hideout opened fire triggering off a gunfight which lasted for a brief time, he said.
During the course of the gunfight, six militants of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind militant outfit were killed.
Local sources said that at around 8 in the morning, a group of militants were walking through a deep nallah and were on their destination when Forces from a height targeted them. Locals claimed that at least three militants managed to escape from the spot.
Local sources identified these slain militants who all hail from Tral as Sahil Ahmed Akhoon from Armpora, Rasik Ahmed Mir, Rouf Ahmed Mir, Omar Ramzan, all residents of Dadsara Tral, Nadeem Ahmed Sofi of Batagund and Faisal Javaid Khanday of Amlar Tral.
Authorities suspended internet service to block the information. Shortly after the gunfight, clashes erupted in parts of Tral town that resulted in the injuries of several protesters.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a statement said, “based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Arampora area of Tral, a cordon and search operation was launched by forces in the area today morning.”
“As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the militants. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight,” he said.
“In the ensuing encounter, six militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter,” said the spokesman. “Pertinently no collateral damage took place during the encounter.”
“All the six militants were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of crimes including the attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. This militant group was part of Zakir Musa faction and was active in district Pulwama,” a police spokesman said.
“It is major setback to Zakir Musa who is keen to set a base in Kashmir,” said a police official. He added that slain militants had recently joined Musa faction when police in Punjab captured many of its sympathizers.