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J&K: Army jawan, four militants killed in Shopian encounter

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GR News Desk | Srinagar

One Army jawan and four militants were killed in an encounter that broke out in Shopian. Two other soldiers were also injured in the ensuing gunfight in Nadigam village of south Kashmir.

A joint team of army’s 34RR, 23 PARA and SOG Shopian cordoned off Nadigam around 2.00 am folowing inputs about the presence of militants in the area. As the joint team approached the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired a volley of bullets, reports said.

The forces retaliated, leading to a gunfight in which three soldiers were wounded. The injured soldiers were identified as Sepoy Shailender Singh of 34 RR, Lance Naik Somveer of 23 PARA and Havaldar Bhupinder Singh of 23 PARA. One of the critically wounded soldiers was shifted to 92 Base hospital in Srinagar where he succumbed to his injuries.

An official said that four militants were killed in the gunfight. Their bodies have been recovered, he said, adding they were establishing their identities. They were identified as Inam ul Haq of Feripora, Abid Nazir Wagay of Paddarpora, Mehraj ud Din Najar of Drawni Zainapora and Basharat Ahmad of Chotigam. He said the slain were affiliated with Hizb ul Mujahideen militant group.

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Meanwhile, clashes have been reported from both Pulwama and Shopian districts, wherein protestors took to the streets and pelted stones at the armed forces. The forces retaliated by firing tear gas shells and pellets. Four civilians sustained injuries in the Shopian clashes.

Reports said that three girls, Simran Jan, Meenu Jan and Rafia Jan suffered bullet injuries while Bilal Ahmad suffered pellet injury in an eye during clashes with armed forces. Simran has suffered a bullet injury in her abdomen whereas Meenu Jan and Rafia Jan have been hit by bullets in foot and leg respectively.

All four have been shifted to a Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment.

Meanwhile, Police in an statement said, “Police and security forces on a credible input about the presence of militants in Nadigam area of District Shopian launched a cordon and search operation in the predawn hours today. As the search operation was going on, the search party was confronted with bullets fired by the hiding militants. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the initial exchange of fire one army man identified as HC Vijay of 23 Para sustained injuries and was evacuated to the hospital for medical treatment where he succumbed.

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The militants were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen and were involved in attacks on security establishments in the past. Incriminating materials including huge quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police has registered a case and initiated an investigation in the matter.