“We are quiet but don’t misunderstand our silence as surrender,” says Altaf Ahmad, 38, a resident of Noorbagh in Sopore. “This silence is strategic. They want us to react. But we know; it is a long battle ahead.”
The militants were identified as Gulzar Ahmad Lone alias Ibrahim, Hizbul district commander from Gund Brath village, and Basit Ahmad Mir alias Tahir of Andergam Pattan village. “The militants were asked to surrender but they refused,’’ said a police officer.
The security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Natipora area of Sopore in Baramulla district at around 3.30 am after receiving information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.