Updated: January 1, 2016 12:48:50 am
Two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, including a foreigner, were killed in a joint operation of police, army and paramilitary forces in south Kashmir.
The killings triggered a shutdown in Pulwama and clashes were reported between police and stone-throwing youth at several places in the town.
On Wednesday afternoon, a joint team of J-K Police’s Special Operations Group (SOG), army’s 53 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and 183 Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cordoned off Gussu village in Pulwama after they received inputs about the presence of two militants in the village.
The police halted the operation after it grew dark but continued the siege. The two militants, who were trapped in a house, tried to break the cordon and escape by opening fire, police said. However, the militants were killed in the retaliatory fire.
The slain militants have been identified as Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Samboora in Pulwama, and a Pakistani national. Police said it has recovered two rifles from their possession.The militants belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba, they said. Manzoor, sources say, had joined the outfit only eight months ago.
As the news about the killing of two militants, including a local, spread in the town today morning, the villagers observed a complete shutdown and angry youth took to streets to protest. The youth threw stones at police and paramilitary forces, who retaliated by firing tear smoke shells. The protests continued in Pulwama throughout the day.
On Thursday evening, there were rumours that Hizbul Mujahideen’s 21-year-old commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani was among the trapped militants. As the rumours spread, youth took to streets at several places in and around Gussu and engaged the police in pitched battles. Police sources say that the youth wanted to divert the attention of police so as to provide an escape route to the militants.
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