Five militants killed as Kulgam encounter ends

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Srinagar: Five militants were killed in a gunfight at Keelam area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday.

Official sources said that three militants were killed during the initial gunfight and the fresh exchange of firing resumed soon after earth movers were pressed to clear the debris of the house to retrieve bodies of slain trio militants seen lying near the spot.

The remaining militants believed to be two in number took shelter in a nearby house and opened fire which was retaliated by the forces, they said, adding that both the hiding militants were killed.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Harmeet Singh Mehta also confirmed that the five militants have been killed and their bodies along with arms and ammunition were recovered from the site.

“The identity of the slain is being ascertained,” SSP said.

Another police official said that all the slain are said to be locals and were believed to be affiliated with Hizb ul-Mujahideen outfit.

Earlier, the officer said that the encounter broke out after the joint team of army’s 9 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation in the area.

 Police identified the five militants and said they were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.
The police identified the slain as Waseem Bashir Rather alias Zeeshan  son of Bashir Ahmad Rather of Ashmuji Kulgam, Zahid Parrey son of Abdul Hamid Parray of Gopal Pora DH Pora Kulgam, Idrees Bhat son of Mohd Ramzan Bhat of Arwani Anantnag, Aqib Nazir Mir son of Nazir Mir of Zongalpora Kulgam and Parvez Bhat son of Bashir of Mukdampora Qaimoh.
After conducting all the formalties the bodies of the slain were handed over to their respective families for last rites.
The officer said that all the slain have joined the Hizb last year and were involved in many attacks. (GNS)

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