Five militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Wednesday.
This was the third encounter in the district within 72 hours. A total of 14 militants have been killed in these three encounters.
The latest encounter took place at Sugoo area of Shopian in the early hours of Wednesday after joint forces cordoned off the area on the basis of an intelligence input.
An official said four out of the five local militants killed on Wednesday were affiliated to the Hizbul Mujahideen, one of them being a district commander of the outfit. The one other militant was affiliated to Lashkar-e-Taiba, said the official.
“We have another successful operation today after Shopian Police generated intelligence in which five militants were killed and one of them is a HM commander. Since Sunday, 14 militants have been killed in three operations in Shopian district. It was a group of militants from HM and LeT outfits,” IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told The Indian Express. “I congratulate the ground officers for no collateral damage.”
The Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps tweeted on Wednesday morning that the joint operation was launched at 1.45 am following police inputs and contact was established with militants at 5.30 am on Wednesday.
In the afternoon, the Army said the militants were holed up “in a hideout in an orchard”.
Brigadier Ajay Katoch, Commander of the Army’s 12 Sector Rashtriya Rifles, told reporters later in the day, “…in the ensuing gunbattle which followed over 6-7 hours, there were six to seven attempts made by the terrorists to break the cordon.”
“At 0700 hours, a terrorist moved closer to the cordon and lobbed a grenade and brought down a heavy volume of fire… he was neutralised. Around 1200 hours two more terrorists were neutralised and around 1300 hours, two terrorists again made an attempt to break the cordon and they were neutralised,” he said.
During the operation, clashes broke out after local residents tried to proceed towards the encounter site.
The operation by security forces on Wednesday came within 72 hours of two major operations in Shopian district.
On Sunday, five Hizbul militants were killed in a gunfight in the Shopian’s Reban area. And on Monday, four Hizbul militants were gunned down in Pinjoora area of the district.
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