Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in a pre-dawn gunbattle between militants and security forces in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday. This is the second encounter in the Valley in the last 24 hours.
The militants were identified as Hilal Ahmad Wani and Shoaib Lone and were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen. Hilal had joined the militancy in 2015 and was operating across the south and central belts of the Valley, said a J&K police spokesperson.
Police said that a cordon and search operation was launched in Gopalpora area of Chadoora in district Budgam by joint forces following the presence of militants in the area on intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday. As the search operation was going on, militants fired at security forces, triggering an encounter.
“As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the terrorists. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight,” said the police spokesperson. In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed. Police said Hilal alongwith Shoaib, was wanted by law for involvement in various cases. “Hilal was the main person responsible for the recruitment into the terrorist fold and was longest surviving terrorist who was operating across the southern and central belts of the Valley. He was responsible for conspiring and executing many terror attacks on the security establishments in the Valley,” said the spokesperson.
On Tuesday morning, Hizbul Mujahideen militant who helped slain Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Naveed Jatt escape from a Srinagar hospital last year, was killed in an encounter between militants and security forces in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. A soldier was also killed in the operation, while as another soldier was injured in the gunbattle.