Pulwama, Nov 06: Two unidentified foreign militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba out and a civilian were killed in an 18 hour long encounter that raged between government forces and militants in Meej area of Pampore in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district yesterday evening and concluded on Friday afternoon.
According to officials, the gunfight lasted for 18 hours. A senior police officer told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that after receiving specific inputs about the presence of militants in Meej Pampore, joint team of forces including 50 RR, Police and CRPF cordoned off the area.
He said that as cordon was being laid on Thursday evening, militants fired indiscriminately, however, due to the presence of civilians, forces showed maximum restraint but two civilians were injured in firing of militants.
The two civilians who were identified as Abid Nabi and Kifayat Ahmad were shifted to hospital, where Abid succumbed on Friday morning and Kifayat is stable, he said, adding during initial stage militants managed to escape from the suspected spot to other area which were already under cordon.
As forces intensified search operations, militants were tracked down and one among them was killed on Friday morning, he said, adding that local militants accepted a surrender offer after which a third one was also tracked down and killed on Friday afternoon.
DIG South Atul Goel during a press conference said that two AK series rifles and large quantities of ammunition was recovered from the slain and surrendered militants.
He said that the surrender of local militants during live encounters is an encouraging sign and we welcome all those to surrender who are still with different militants organizations.
It is not necessary that they should surrender during encounters but they can come any time and we will welcome them anytime for surrender, he said, adding that the surrender of youth shows that Kashmiri youth are fed up of militancy and they want peace.
Arrangements for the smooth conduction of coming DDC elections are going and every possible step will be taken for the safety and security of any candidate taking part in elections, he said, adding that hopeful that people in large number will take part in elections and work for the development of J&K. A police spokesman in a statement issued here, said that the third militant who surrendered in the encounter has been identified as Khawar Sultan Mir of Drangbal, Pampore. “The two slain militants, according to reliable sources, are from Pakistan,” said a police spokesman in a statement to KNO. All three militants including the one who surrendered were affiliated with LeT outfit, the police statement said—(KNO)