Three militants killed, one held alive in south Kashmir

One SPO was also killed in a separate gunfight in Budgam.

Srinagar, J&K –

Three militants were killed in Badigam village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Thursday night after a gunfight raged in the area while a newly recruited militant was arrested after government forces laid a siege in the New Colony area of Pulwama district.

As per Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, three local militants killed in the Shopian district belonged to Al-Badr outfit. However, the identity of the slain was not revealed.

Also, a newly recruited militant was arrested amid a cordon and search operation in Pulwama district, officials from local police said.

They said based on specific information about the presence of the militants, a joint CASO was launched by Police and Army’s 55 RR, in the area just around District Hospital Pulwama.

During the searches, police said, one youth identified as Welayat Aziz Mir alias Rasik, son of Abdul Aziz Mir of Banpora Kakapora, was arrested along with a pistol and a grenade.

As per the police statement, Welayat was missing since February 15 and had joined militancy.

Meanwhile, a third operation was launched in Beerwah area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district, wherein a gunfight took place. In the gunfight, a Special Police Officer (SPO) was killed during the exchange of gunfire while another policeman was injured.

An unnamed senior police officer, quoted by a local news agency, said that one SPO namely Altaf Ahmad lost his life, while as another policeman namely Manzoor Ahmad was injured in the encounter.

However, the two trapped militants managed to flee from the gunfight site, whose blood trail was followed after which a cordon was launched in another village of the district, as per IGP Kashmir.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of wreath laying ceremony of deceased SPO Altaf Ahmed, the IGP Kashmir said, “Yesterday late night a cordon was laid in Imam Sahab area of Shopian district. Today morning, three militants of Al-Badr were killed in the operation. All three are locals. Two AK-47 rifles and one pistol have been recovered from their possession,” he said.

About the Budgam encounter, the IGP said that a cordon was laid in a village in Beerwah area of Budgam in the midnight and in the initial exchange of firing, SPO Altaf Ahmed and constable Manzoor Ahmed sustained injuries.

“Altaf succumbed to injuries later. There were reports of the presence of a militant Yusuf Kandroo and another foreign militant. It seems that two militants sustained injuries in the first exchange given the blood trial that was seen up to two kilometres from the site of the encounter. We have cordoned the village where blood trail ended and searches are on,” he further said.

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