2 militants including an IED mastermind killed in Sopore gunfight: police

Srinagar: Two militants have been killed in a five hour long gun battle in Sopore area of Baramulla district, police sources said on Thursday. 

They said that the bodies of the two are yet to be retrieved as the forces have launched a search operation suspecting presence of third militant at the site of encounter.

Earlier forces cordoned Armpora area of Sopore after inputs about the presence of militants and started a search operation. Initially there was a brief exchange of fire between the forces and the militants. 

The firing stopped, and after a lull, firing resumed, police sources said. 

While there were reports of minor clashes near the gunfight site, the forces pressed in drones to keep a watch on hiding militants, sources added.

All routes leading towards Downtown Sopore, Arampora, Teeliyan, Batpora, Jamia Masjid and other areas have been sealed by the government forces and a heavy deployment has been put in place.

Later police on issued a statement regarding the Sopore encounter.

They said that in Checkipora area of Sheikhpora Sopore today, Police and security forces jointly launched a search operation based on credible inputs about the presence of militants in the area.

A police spokesperson said that during the searches, militants fired on the search party. Initially, civilians were evacuated from the encounter site to the safer areas before engaging the militants in an encounter.

“In the ensuing encounter, two militants were eliminated. Some arms, ammunition and incriminating material was recovered from the site of the encounter,” the spokesman said.

“The killed militants have been identified as  Ali alias Athar and Zia-ur-Rehman from Pakistan,affiliated with militant outfit JeM. Ali was one of the important commanders of JeM and was active since 2014. He was the mastermind of the Sopore IED blast in which four policemen were killed. Besides, both of them were involved in attacks on security force establishments and civilian,” said Police spokesman.

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