Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were Thursday killed in a pre-dawn gunbattle at Bijbehara area in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. One of the slain militants was studying physiotherapy when he joined militant ranks last year, police said.
Based on an input, joint forces launched a cordon and search operation at Bagender Mohalla in Bijbehara area, a J&K police spokesperson said.
“During searches, terrorists fired upon the search party. The fire was retaliated, leading to an encounter. Two terrorists were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” the spokesperson said.
The number of militant deaths now stands at 71 this year.
The two militants affililated to the Hizbul Mujahideen have been identified as Safdar Amin (25), a resident of Bijbehara, and Burhan Ahmad Ganai (25) of Anantnag, police said. “They were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes, including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities,” police said.
Burhan was pursuing a Bachelors of Physiotherapy course when he joined militant ranks in June 2018.
During a joint press conference on Wednesday, top security officials in the Valley had said that a total of 69 militants have been killed and 12 arrested this year. After the Pulwama attack, 41 militants were killed and 25 of them belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammad, they said.
General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen K J S Dhillon, had said that operations “against the terrorists in the hinterland and Line of Control will continue with full vigour and we will not let terrorism rise up…”