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Shopian encounter: Three militants killed as operation ends

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Srinagar: Three militants were killed during an anti-terrorism operation in Shopian area of south Kashmir after repeated persuasions and even halting up the operation to enable their surrender failed to yield any positive results.
The operation, which began last evening at 4 PM at Sugan area of Shopian district, was halted at around 8.30 PM by the army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles that was carrying out the attack, after the troops decided to rope in prominent locals from the area to persuade the militants to surrender, officials said here.
After cordoning off the area, the commanding officer of the 44-RR Col A K Singh and his team decided to counsel the holed up terrorists to surrender and brought some religious leaders and prominent citizens to make an announcement on loudspeakers asking them to concede.
The army resumed its operations at the first light of the day after the militants lobbed grenades at the people who were making appeals for surrender. In no time, the three militants were neutralised and the operation was called off, the officials said.
All the three belonged to the banned Al-Badr organisation, they said.
The 44-RR has the maximum number of killings of militants to its credit as well as maximum apprehensions and surrenders. Rashtriya Rifles was carved out of the army in the early 1990s as a specialised counter-insurgency force to tackle militancy in the Kashmir valley and the higher areas of Jammu region.
The 44 RR is known for its people-friendly initiatives in the area. At times it has made pro-people gestures including frequent visits to the families of active militants in order to persuade them to return from militancy besides engaging with youths in different activities.
Meanwhile, two brothers sustained pellet injuries after clashes erupt in Sugan area on Wednesday.
Notably, the protests took place after three militants were killed in the overnight encounter.
Local sources said that during the gunfight clashes erupted between joint forces and youth, in which two brothers suffered pellet injuries. They were shifted to District Hospital Pulwama.
A medico said that after initial treatment both the brothers were referred to SMHS Hospital Srinagar for advanced treatment.
He identified them as Ehsan Maqbool and Basit Maqbool, residents of Sugan village of Shopian. (with inputs from, PTI, KNT)


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