J&K: Six militants, one jawan killed in pre-dawn encounter in Shopian

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At least six militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir early on Sunday, taking the count to 12 in just over 72 hours. A jawan of the territorial army was killed in the ensuing gunfight.

Based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Batagund area of Kapran, a cordon and search operation was launched in the intervening night jointly by Jammu and Kashmir Police and the security forces.

A police spokesperson in a statement said that during the cordon, a search party was fired upon by the militants. The forces then retaliated leading to a gunfight. Initially, one jawan of 34 RR sustained injuries in the exchange of fire. He was evacuated to the hospital and is stated to be stable now. “However one Jawan identified as Nazir Ahmad of 34 RR who got grievously injured in the final phase of the encounter has succumbed and attained martyrdom,” the spokesman said. “In the ensuing encounter, six militants were neutralized and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. Their identities and affiliations are being ascertained,” he said.

Nk Nazir Ahmad of 162 TA operating with 34 RR was killed in the encounter.

“Incriminating material including a huge cache of arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police have registered a case and initiated an investigation in the matter,” the spokesperson added.

At daybreak as the news of the encounter spread, villagers put up an intense protest, in which nearly two dozen civilians suffered injuries, leading to the death of at least one. The one casualty has been identified as Noman Ashraf Bhat, while Faizan Ahmad, whom a bullet grazed past, is in hospital. Fifteen injured were received at district hospital Kulgam, said a doctor, adding that six of them were referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment.

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Police also requested locals from visiting the area unless it is sanitised properly. Sunday’s gunfight is the fourth encounter in south Kashmir from last Sunday, since then 12 militants including top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba have been killed in the last seven days.