2 Hizbul militants killed in a gunfight in South kashmir

Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces on Wednesday in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, the police said.

The encounter took place after a joint team of the army, the Central Reserve Police Force and Jammu and Kashmir police launched a cordon and search operation in the Gopalpora area of DH Pora town in Kulgam.

The militants, who were in hiding, opened fire on the search team, which retaliated, killing the two men, a police spokesman said in a statement. The slain militants, from whom the police seized arms and ammunition, were identified as Irfan Manzoor Bhat of Poniwah in Kulgam and Zahid Ahmad Mantoo of Ferripora in Shopian.

The spokesman said Bhat and Mantoo were wanted for complicity in terrorist crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilians.

“Zahid was involved in planning and executing a series of terror attacks in the area and many other civilian atrocities,” the spokesman said, adding he was involved in an attack in which three policemen were killed in Batgund, Shopian, last year.

The police said Bhat had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen recently and was part of a group involved in the killing of Abdul Majeed Dar of Sholipora, Kulgam. Dar, who was elected sarpanch after quitting the People’s Democratic Party, was killed by gunmen on April 3.

The police requested civilians not to venture near the encounter site. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” the spokesman said.

First Published:
May 23, 2019 00:26 IST

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