Four Hizb militants killed in Kulgam gunfight

The slain militants were identified as Ajaz Naik, Shahid Malik, and Waqar Ahmad — all from Kulgam — while the fourth one was identified as Mohammad Ashraf Malik of Anantnag district.

Srinagar, Apr 4: Four Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in an encounter with a joint team of government forces in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Saturday.

While bodies of three of them were recovered as soon as guns fell silent,  the corpse of fourth militant was recovered from the debris of a house which was razed to rubble Saturday morning at Hardmanguri area of Khur Batpora.

 

The gunfight ensued after a joint team of army’s 34 RR, paramilitary CRPF and police’s SOG laid a cordon around the area in the wee hours amid “specific information” about the presence of a group of militants there.

The militants, a police officer said, were asked to lay down arms and an announcement in this regard was made through public address system. However, the officer said, the militants turned down the offer and instead started firing from the house where they were hiding. The joint team retaliated, triggering off an encounter in which the militants were killed, the police officer said, adding that an army soldier also sustained minor injuries and was hospitalized.

“Three militant bodies were recovered soon after the gunfight was over while fourth one was recovered from under the debris of the target house,” the officer said. He said the operation was launched after the specific information pointing to the presence of the group of four militants.

Local reports suggest extensive damage to several houses and not just the one where militants were purportedly hiding.

Director General of Police (DGP), Dilbagh Singh confirmed the killing of four militants. The top officer of J&K claimed that the slain militants were responsible for recent killings in the southern Kashmir district.

“A group of Hizb militants was killing civilians over the last 12 days. Police were able to track them down today. Bodies of all four militants have been recovered,” Singh said.

The slain militants were identified as Ajaz Naik, Shahid Malik, and Waqar Ahmad — all from Kulgam — while the fourth one was identified as Mohammad Ashraf Malik of Anantnag district.

“During ongoing Corona Preventive efforts, the killing of innocent civilians by mindless militants was highly barbaric and condemnable,” the DGP added. Defence ministry spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said four militants were killed. “Weapons and warlike stores have been recovered,” he added.

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