Back to back gunfights rattle South Kashmir

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By KNO on 31/05/2019.

Back to back gunfights rattle South Kashmir

Top Hizb commander, his aide, missing youth killed in fresh encounter in Shopian, says police, another gunbattle rages in Tral, 100 militants killed since January, 21 alone in Ramadhan

Sopore, May 31: The back to back gunfights have left various parts of south Kashmir rattled with a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, his aide and a missing youth getting killed in a fresh gunfight in Sugan area of Shopian district, top police officials told KNO.

Today’s Shopian encounter was 15th one in a row in the ongoing fasting month of Ramadhan that saw the killing of 21 militants and a missing youth. Since January this year, the number of militants killed has reached 100, officials privy to the figures revealed to KNO.

According to KNO, a joint team of forces including 44 RR, CRPF and SOG Sugan area of Zainapora launched search operation after having specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area.

“On intensifying search operation towards the suspected spot, hiding militants fired upon forces triggering an encounter,” a police official said. “After initial exchange of fire two bodies were recovered. After seven hours in fresh firing one more militant was killed,” he added.

The police identified the slain militants as a top Hizbul commander Abid Manzoor  Magray alias Saju Tiger son of Manzoor Ahmed of Nowpora, Payeen, Pulwama and Bilal Ahmed Bhat resident of Urmulla, Lassipora, Pulwama and Jasim Rashid Shah.

Pic by, Muneeb ul Islam/FK

A police spokesman said that Abid had a history of militancy since 2016 and was involved in many incidents.  “Jasim as per police records and inputs available with police coupled with the family version was missing since yesterday afternoon and was part of this group,” police said.

Police sources said that Saju Tiger was a close aide of chief operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Riyaz Naikoo. Meanwhile, clashes between protestors and government forces rocked Shopian areas especially the natives villages of two slain militants, witnesses told KNO.

As a precautionary measure, mobile internet services have been snapped in Shopian district, the officials said. Meanwhile, another gunfight raged in Nanar village of Midoora area of Tral in Awantipora that falls in Pulwama district.

Sources said that a joint team of Army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles, special operations group (SOG) and CRPF launched cordon and search operation in Nanar, Midoora area of Tral following specific information about the presence of some militants in the area.

“As the forces intensified the searches, militants hiding in the area opened fire, leading to a gunfight which was going on when this report was filed, they said. The army has already rushed more reinforcements in the area,” they said.

A police officer confirmed the encounter has started stating that the cordon was launched following specific inputs in the village. “Intermittent exchange of fire was on when this report was being filed.

No casualties have been reported so far in the operation,” officer added. As per sources two militants JeM outfit are believed to be trapped in the encounter. Meanwhile authorities snapped the mobile internet services in Awantipora area of Pulwama