FOUR HIZBUL militants were killed in a two-day encounter at Behmoona village in Pulwama district that ended on Tuesday morning, security officials said. Police have recovered bodies of three of the militants. Two of them were identified as Kifayaat Khanday of Behmoona village and Jahangir of the neighbouring Kellar village.
Search is on for the body of the fourth militant which is under the debris, police said. Several villagers were injured when they tried to disrupt the operation, the police said. Inspector General of Police Muneer Ahmad Khan said: “Four militants have been killed. Today, we retrieved the body of the third militant, while the fourth body is still under the debris. We have recovered three AK-47 rifles and one SLR rifle.”
The Army said that there is a chance that the bodies of two more militants could be under the debris. “We had information that five militants were hiding in the village… three bodies have been retrieved and the search operation is on,” an officer said.
Khan said the militants were associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen. “Four jawans were also injured,” he added. Based on a tip-off , the Army, police and CRPF launched a joint operation on Monday in Behmoona. The Army’s elite para commandos were also called in and three of them were injured in the gun fight.
Locals said the Army used mortars and IED to counter the militants and four houses were damaged in the operation. The police said efforts were on to ascertain the identity of the two other militants who were killed on Tuesday.
Dozens of villagers had tried to disrupt the operation when it was launched on Monday, pelting the security personnel with stones. The police used pellets for crowd control, leaving more than a dozen injured. Some of the injured were shifted to the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar.