Tral gunfight: One more militant killed, toll 3 Slain militants identified; forces blast hideout; several injured in clashes

Qayoom Khan

Srinagar, Jan 3 : One more militant has been killed in a gunfight with government forces taking the death toll of militants to three at forest area of Gulshanpora, Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

Reports reaching GNS said that the third militant was killed in a fresh firing which started in the afternoon.

A police officer also confirmed the killing of the third militant. Earlier in the gunfight, two militants were killed and three soldiers suffered injuries, he said.

The officer said that the slain militants were affiliated with the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.

The injured were taken to army’s 92 base hospital Srinagar where from one critically wounded soldier was airlifted to army’s command hospital Udhampur for advanced treatment, he said, adding that the soldier, however, later succumbed to the injuries.

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The slain soldier has been identified as Sepoy Nehminlan Haokip of 42 RR.

Sources identified the slain militants as Shakoor Ahmad alias Jaffer of Laribal, Tral, Tousif Ahmad Thoker alias Talha and Zubair Bhat alias Hamza, both residents of Chursoo, Awantipora.

The encounter ensued after army’s 42 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation following the inputs about the presence of a group of Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a hideout.

Following the gunfight, the youth took to streets and pelted stones on forces leading to clashes at some distance from the encounter site in which thirteen persons have reportedly suffered pellet injuries.

Meanwhile, sources said that the joint team of forces destroyed the hideout by blasting it so as to prevent people from visiting the spot.  (GNS)