Five militants killed in Shopian gunfight

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Srinagar, June 07: A top Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander was among five militants killed in an encounter which ensued after police and army launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on Sunday in south Kashmir district of Shopian.

Meanwhile, internet mobile service of all Cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), has been suspended to prevent rumours.

Defence ministry spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia told UNI that troops of 1 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPF launched a joint CASO at Reban in Shopian following a tip-off about the presence of militants in the wee hours.

“All exit points were sealed and house to house searches launched,” he said, adding when the security forces were moving towards a particular area in the village, militants hiding there, opened indiscriminate firing with automatic weapons.

Col Kalia said troops retaliated ensuing in an encounter. “Five militants were killed in the exchange of fire,” he said, adding no collateral damage took places due to adherence to all precautionary measures.

A police official said the slain militants belonged to proscribed outfit HM and one among them is believed to be a top commander. “In case any family claims the killed militants to be their kith or kin, it can come forward for the identification,” he said.

He said incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. “All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other crimes,” he added.

Official sources said that additional security forces were deployed in the nearby areas to prevent any demonstration, adding residents living in nearby houses were shifted to safer places.

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