Four militants, including two belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), were killed in two separate encounters in south Kashmir on Saturday, police and army officials said.
While two militants of JeM, including a Pakistani national, were killed in Kulgam district in the morning, another two were killed in the afternoon in Pulwama district of the restive region.
A police spokesperson said that the Kulgam joint operation by the Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Jammu and Kashmir Police was launched on Friday night after a specific input regarding the presence of terrorists in Chinigam area of the district.
“During the search operation, as the presence of terrorists got ascertained they were given the opportunity to surrender, however, instead they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the spokesperson said, adding: that the two terrorists were killed in the subsequent gunfight and their bodies were retrieved.
The suspected terrorists have been identified as Tariq Ahmad Mir, a resident of Divsar Kulgam, and Sameer Bhai Usman, a Pakistani national. Both are believed to be JeM operatives.
“They were involved in many terror crimes and civilian atrocities including the killing of one police personnel,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that Inspector general of police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar lauded the role of the forces for the timely and safely evacuation of civilians during the encounter and for showing restraint during the search operation. “…Security Forces exercised strict restraint. Terrorists fired UBGL & AK during the night. Civilians evacuated at first light. One M4 rifle & one pistol recovered,” Army’s Chinar Corps said in a tweet on Saturday.
Keeping the view the pandemic, the bodies of the slain militants will be sent to Handwara for burial after completion of all medico-legal formalities. The nearest family members of the killed local terrorist shall be allowed to participate in the last rites, police said.
Two other militants were killed in a separate encounter at Dadoora area of Pulwama on Saturday afternoon.
“2 unidentified terrorists killed. Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 02 AK rifles recovered. Search going on. Further details shall follow,” Kashmir Police confirmed in a tweet.
Kashmir has seen a spate of encounters this week. On October 7, three militants were killed in an overnight encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district , police said. A day before that, a suspected Hizbul Mujahideen militant was killed when he attacked a BJP activist in Ganderbal district of the Valley. The personal security officer of the activist was also injured in the attack and later succumbed to his injuries.
So far, around 189 militants have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir this year.