Three Lashkar militants killed in Bijbehara encounter

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House razed to ground; Trio identified as locals, ADGP Khan says it was a clean operation, people flood homes of slain to participate in funeral

Nasir Azam

Srinagar, Oct 16 (KNO): Three militants were killed in an overnight gunfight at Pazalpora village of Bijbehera in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Wednesday while as a house where they were hiding was raised to ground.

According to wire-service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), a  police officer said that acting on a tip-off, a cordon was laid by police and army’s 3 Rashtriya Riffles (RR), a house was seized where three militants were hiding. “The operation was started at 3 pm in the night. The hiding militants fired indiscriminately triggering a night long gunfight,” a police official said.

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He said that intermittent exchange of firing took place throughout the night. “The house where in militants were hiding fired indiscriminately at the security forces,” the police official said.

He said with the first light of the day, the encounter entered into final stage after which three militants were killed. The bodies of all the three slain militants retrieved and they were later identified as Nasir Ahmed Chadroo of ArwaniBijbehara, Akeel Ahmed Hajam of Redwani, Kulgam and Zahid Ahmed of Tekribal, Bijbehara.

“All the three slain militants were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba,” police said. Another official said that the militants were hiding in the house of one Muzaffar Ahmed. “It was a concrete three-storey house which was later razed to ground.” Additional Director General Police (ADGP) Munir Khan confirmed to the KNO that three militants were killed. He said it was a clean operation.

“The slain trio belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba and were involved into many incidents of violence,” he said. Asked whether they had a role in the killing of truck driver Shareefudin Khan of Rajashtan in Shopian, the ADGP said: “The trio were not involved in the truck driver’s killing.”   

Witnesses said that because of the gunfight, entire area witnessed zero movement of traffic while as mild protest was witnessed far from the encounter spot. This is the second encounter in Anantnag post August 5 when Centre scrapped Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories (UTs).  Meanwhile, thousands of people marched towards the houses of three slain militants to participate in their funeral procession (KNO).

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