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19-hour long Shopian encounter ends

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Two Al-Badr associates killed, two soldiers injured

Shopian: Two local militants affiliated with Al-Badr militant outfit were killed on Saturday in the 19-hour long encounter between security forces and militants in Kanigam area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
A senior police official said that a joint team of Police, Army’s 44 RR and CRPF launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in the area on specific information about the presence of militants on Friday afternoon.
He said that as the joint team of forces approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them, which was retaliated, triggering off an encounter.
“During initial exchange of fire, the militants managed to hide in a residential houses and on Friday evening, they tried to break the cordon and fired indiscriminately resulting in injuries to two soldiers who were undergoing treatment at a hospital,” he said, adding that after initial exchange of fire, when it was found that the trapped militants are locals, they were repeatedly asked to surrender.
“However, they turned down repeated surrender offers and fired at forces again on Saturday morning, which was retaliated and in the ensuing gunfight the duo was killed,” he said.
The slain militants were identified as Owais Farooq son of Farooq Ahmad Allaie resident of Kadlabal Chersoo Awantipora who was missing since 08 August this year and Aasif Ahmad Lone son of Ghulam Mohammed Lone resident of Turkawangam Shopian who was missing from last week of June this year.
The police official said that two soldiers were injured in the initial exchange of fire, who were removed to army hospital and are out of danger.
A police spokesman later said that due to darkness, the operation was suspended on Friday evening and the whole area was put under strict cordon.
“During the wee hours on Saturday, the militants were again appealed to surrender, however they turned down the appeal and started firing indiscriminately. In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” he said, adding that slain duo belonged to Al-Badr outfit.
The police spokesman said that as per police records, both the killed militants were part of the group involved in several activities including attacks on security forces and civilian atrocities.
“Besides, several terror crime cases were registered against Asif Lone including case FIR No. 98/2020 of PS Zainapora pertaining to attack on Army Naka party at Trenz Shopian on 07/12/2020 & FIR No. 153/2020 of PS Zainapora pertaining to pasting of posters whereby general public was threatened to keep away from recently concluded DDC elections,” the police spokesman said.
“The last rites of the killed militants shall be performed after conducting their medico-legal formalities at Baramulla and their nearest family members shall be allowed to participate in the last rites,” the police spokesman said. (with inputs from KNO)


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