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Two LeT militants killed in encounter at Anantnag town

Srinagar, July 25: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed in an encounter with government forces in south Kashmir’s Anantnag town on Wednesday morning following a tip-off about their presence inside a house.

The militants were trapped inside a house in Lal Chowk, the main residential area of the town.

The encounter started after a joint team of army, Jammu and Kashmir police, and CRPF conducted a siege operation at Mehmaan Mohalla in Lal Chowk.

Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Swayam Prakash Pani said, “This was a difficult operation as it was in a crowded locality. All civilians were evacuated and the room intervention team completed the operation. There was no collateral damage.”

Giving details of the encounter, the police said that the forces launched the operation in the early hours. This was the first operation within Anantnag town after a gap of 12 years.

As the forces advanced towards the suspect house, the militants hiding inside fired on the security forces, which retaliated, resulting in an encounter, they said.

In wake of the gunfight, authorities snapped internet services in Anantnag district and its adjoining parts.

The train services were suspended to and from Srinagar to Banihal as a precautionary measure.

The area was cordoned off as a search operation was launched, even as an exchange of fire continued.

A curfew was imposed around the encounter site.

The slain militants were identified as Bilal Ahmad Dar alias Bin Yamin Dar son of Muhammad Yousuf Dar of Sofi Mohalla Khudwani Kulgam and Abid Hussain Bhat son of Wali Muhammad of Khazan Doda. Abid was active from past one month. Reports said that Bilal had joined militant ranks in July last year

Giving details of the encounter later in the day, a police spokesman said the joint patrol of government forces launched searches at Lal Chowk area in the district after it received credible leads about the presence of the militants inside a house.

“As the government forces advanced towards the suspect house, the militants hiding inside fired on the security forces, which was retaliated resulting in an encounter in which two militants were killed. Besides, no collateral damage occurred during the encounter,” the spokesman said.

“On the basis of the incriminating materials seized, it is established that they belonged to proscribed militant organisation LeT,” the spokesperson in a statement.

“As per police records Bilal alias Bin Yamin Dar was involved in series of militant activities,” the spokesman said.

Some arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter.

Police has registered a case and investigation has been initiated into the matter, the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, thousands of people participated in the last rites of one of the slain militants Bilal Ahmad Dar at his native Sofi Mohalla in Khudwani area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Reports said that two rounds of funeral prayers were held for the slain militant in Khudwani village. Thousands of people participated in the prayers, he said.

He said that the first funeral of the slain was led by his father.

Scores of men and women wept bitterly as the body was being carried towards its final resting place.

Pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans were raised by the mourners as the body was marched towards the local graveyard.

Reports said that some armed militants appeared at the funeral of slain militant and offered a gun salute to their associate and raised pro-freedom, pro-Islam and pro-Pakistan slogans.