J&K: Five militants killed in Shopian encounter
Five militants from the Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit were killed in a gun battle that's underway between security forces and ultras in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday. The gunfight broke out late Friday after a joint team of army and police launched a cordon-and-search operation at Kilora, Shopian, 56 kms from Srinagar, following specific information about the presence of militants in the area, reports said.
While one militant was killed in the initial exchange of gunfire on Friday night, the army recovered bodies of four more ultras Friday morning, which took the toll to five. “4 more bodies of terrorists visible at encounter site Kiloora Shopian taking the total to 5 terrorists killed. Good Job boys, good for peace (sic),” tweeted state police chief Shesh Pal Vaid.
Vaid tweeted earlier: “A group of terrorists was tracked leading to a gun battle at Kiloora in Shopian. In the initial cordon 1 terrorist was killed. Search operation continues. Group is learnt to be part of proscribed terror outfit LeT. Details will follow.” An army spokesman said that weapons were also recovered from the encounter site and the operation is underway.
One of the slain militants, whose body was recovered Friday, has been identified as Umar Malik of the LeT, he said. The identities of the other militants killed were not immediately known, but they are assumed to belong to the LeT.
There has been a spurt in gun battles between security forces and militants this week. The latest gun battle came hours after two militants, which included a B.Tech student-turned-ultra, and an army soldier were killed in an encounter in the Sopore area of north Kashmir on Friday.
On Thursday, two militants of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit were killed in an encounter after they fired on security forces in northern Kupwara district. An INSAS rifle, which was snatched earlier this week from a policeman in the same district, was recovered from them, police said.
The engineering student, who had joined the militancy only 48 hours before, was killed in Sopore. According to the student's family, he had ambitions of becoming a Kashmir Administrative Service officer and had left his home on Tuesday morning to apply for the exam. He had also applied for a sub-inspector’s job with J&K police and had also cleared the physical fitness test, they said.