3 militants killed, 5 security personnel injured in Srinagar encounter

3 militants killed, 5 security personnel injured in Srinagar encounter
Photo: Aman Farooq/GK

Srinagar, Dec 31: Three militants affiliated to Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit, including one militant involved in the recent Zewan police bus attack, were killed and five security forces personnel injured in the Pantha Chowk encounter, during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.

The nocturnal gunfight at Pantha Chowk, took place hours after six JeM militants and a soldier died in two separate encounters in Anantnag and Kulgam areas of south Kashmir on Thursday.

“Encounter has started at Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar. Police and security forces are on the job. Further details shall follow,” Kashmir Zone Police Tweeted on Thursday night.

“SrinagarEncounterUpdate: In the initial exchange of fire, 3 Police personnel and 1 CRPF personnel got injured and were subsequently shifted to hospital. Operation going on. Further details shall follow.@JmuKmrPolice,” police said in another Tweet.

An hour later, police quoted the IGP saying that three militants have been killed in Pantha Chowk encounter. “ SrinagarEncounterUpdate: 3 unidentified terrorists killed. Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition recovered. Search going on: IGP Kashmir @JmuKmrPolice,” police said in a Tweet.

A senior police officer said the gunfight at Pantha Chowk erupted when a joint team of Police and Central Reserve Police Force launched a cordon and a search operation in the area following an input about the presence of suspects.

"There was input about three terrorists hiding in the area. As the cordon was being laid, terrorists fired from inside wounding three policemen and two CRPF men," Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Vijay Kumar told reporters here. “The injured men were immediately shifted to Army's 92 base hospital where they are said to be stable”

“Three dreaded terrorists were killed and one of them has been identified as Suhail Ahmad Rather who was involved in the attack of the police bus at Zewan on December 13,” Kumar said. “The identity of the two others has not been established as yet, but they are most probably foreign terrorists,” Kumar said.

“It was an important encounter for J&K Police. I had promised on December 13 evening after the attack on the police bus that the killers would be neutralised soon. J&K police worked like a team and small input was worked upon and last night an encounter happened during which we were able to eliminate the three,” Kumar said.

Kumar said 171 militants were killed this year and out of the 152 were locals and 19 were foreigners. He said security forces recovered 127 rifles including the American made five M-4 rifles. "This year 167 pistols were also recovered from Kashmir," he added.

Greater Kashmir