Pulwama encounter ends: Army Major, three soldiers, cop, civilian; 3 Jaish militants killed

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By KNO on 18/02/2019.

Pulwama encounter ends: Army Major, three soldiers, cop, civilian; 3 Jaish militants killed

Slain militant Kamran was mastermind of Lethpora attack, says police, Brigadier, Captain, DIG south Kashmir, two cops sustain injuries, all stable;  4 houses damaged

Srinagar, February 18: The encounter that started on Sunday evening at Pinglana village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district saw bloobath on both sides with as many as eight people getting killed including an army major, three soldiers, a policeman a civilian and all the three militants of Jaish-e-Muhammad.

A police official said that in the encounter an army Brigadier, Captain, DIG south Kashmir and two cops sustained injuries but all of them are stable. Four houses were also damaged in the deadly encounter in the recent times that has taken place in Kashmir.

“A total of eight persons got killed in the encounter,” a police spokesman said. “A key Jaish-e-Muhammad  believed to be the mastermind of the Pulwama attack was  also among the slain. Four soldiers and a major was also killed in the gunfight,” the official told KNO.

“Kamran, one of the two militants killed in the encounter, was a Pakistani and a key aide of Jaish-e-Muhammad’s Pakistan-based chief Masood Azhar.”

The elimination of Kamran is considered a big boost for the forces after the attack on February 14 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers were killed by a locally recruited suicide bomber, Adil Ahmed Dar. Sources said Kamran was responsible for recruiting, radicalising and training militants in the Kashmir Valley.

The second militant killed today was Hilal Ahmed, a local Kashmiri bomb specialist, an official told KNO while as the identity of third militant was being ascertained. The overnight encounter took place just 10 km from the site of the Thursday attack, which is the worst ever militant strike on the forces in Kashmir.

The soldiers killed in the operation belonged to the 55 Rashtriya Rifles. Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, 34, was from Dehradun. The others killed are Sepoy Hari Singh, 27,  Havaldar Sheo Ram, 37, and Sepoy Ajay Kumar, 27. Amit Kumar, the Deputy Inspector General of south Kashmir, was hit by a bullet in the leg. A civilian was also killed in the encounter, said the police.

The Northern Command of the army tweeted its tribute to the officer and soldiers, saying: “…salute the supreme sacrifice of our brave officer and soldiers and offer deepest condolences to the families.”

A targeted operation was launched a little after midnight on a tip-off that three Jaish militants, including the handler of the Pulwama suicide bomber, were hiding in the Pinglan area. Personnel of the 55 Rashtriya Rifles, two battalions of the CRPF and the Special Operation Group of the Jammu and Kashmir police were involved in the encounter