Three militants killed in South Kashmir’s Anantnag gunfight

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Srinagar, May 11: Three militants were killed in a gunbattle with government forces at Vailo area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday.

The encounter had ensued after a team of police and army was fired upon during a cordon-and-search operation launched in the area amid specific information about the presence of the militants.

“Two more militants have been killed in the ongoing operation. However identity of the slain militant is yet to be ascertained,” a police officer said.

Earlier, an official said that a joint team of Police, Army’s 19 RR and CRPF launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on specific information about the presence of militants in the area.

He said that as the joint team of forces approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them, which was retaliated, triggering an encounter.

Pertinently, 46 militants have been killed in J&K so far this year and most of them belong to Shopian district.

Police statement

“Today at about 0400 hours, Police while acting on specific input regarding presence of three (militants) in a residential house at village Sheikhpora, Vailoo area of Kokernag, launched a joint cordon and search operation along with army’s 19RR and CRPF in the area,” a police spokesman said in a statement.

“During the search operation, as the presence of (militants) got ascertained, they were given an opportunity to surrender. However they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated, leading to an encounter.”

The joint teams also rescued all the civilians trapped in the gunfire and halted the operation for the time to ensure safety and safe evacuation of people from the area of gunfight, he said.

“Later the operation was resumed and all the (militants) were killed in the ensuing encounter.”

They have been identified as Ilyas Ahmad Dar alias Sameer of Danwathpora Kokernag, Ubaid Shafi alias Abdullah of Batamaloo Srinagar and Aqib Ahmad Lone alias Sahil of Khandaypora Kulgam.

“As per police records, (the trio) was linked with LeT and part of the groups involved in several (militant) cases including attacks on security forces and security establishments,” the police said.

He said one AK-47 rifle, two pistols and “incriminating materials” was recovered from the site of encounter.

“The last rites of the killed (militants) shall be performed after conducting medico-legal formalities and the nearest family members of local (militants) shall be allowed to participate in the last rites.”

Meanwhile, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar “congratulated police and security forces for conducting successful operation without any collateral damage.” IGP also appeals to parents to bring their wards into mainstream.

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