Two Lashkar I Toiba militants were killed in an overnight encounter with security forces in Sirhama village of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The slain militants have been identified as Adil Bhat of Kakpora Pulwama and Omar Khan of Livar village of Pahalgam.
The gunfight erupted last evening after columns of special operation group (SOG) of JK police, army and CRPF ring-fenced Sirhama village following inputs about the presence of militants.
As the forces zeroed in towards the house the militants had taken shelter they came under fire. The fire was retaliated, triggering an encounter.
“The exchange of fire continued for some time after which guns fell silent,” a police official said.
He said the security forces later tightened the cordon and installed lights to prevent militants from escaping.
As the night approached guns again started blazing from both sides.
“The forces used explosives and the house where the militants had taken shelter was razed to ground,” the police official said.
He said later two bodies were recovered from the debris.
“The two were commanders of the LeT militant outfit and were involved in several attacks,” the police official said.
He said arms, ammunition and incriminating material was also recovered from the gun-battle site.
The bodies of the militants were taken by police to North Kashmir for burial.
For several months now, police have been denying the bodies of the militants to their families as their funerals attracted large crowds.
IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said Adil Bhat was involved in the attack on two policemen at Nowgam Srinagar on August 14.
He said Bhat had decamped with an INSAS rifle which was recovered from the site of the encounter.
4 civilians injured:
Four civilians were injured when an explosive material went off near the encounter site.
A police official said after the encounter concluded people gathered near the house where the militants were gunned down.
“An unexploded material went off resulting in injuries to four persons,” he said.
The injured were identified as Muhamad Yasin Rather of Sirhama; Shahid Yousuf Sheikh of Bon–Nambal; Irshad Ahmad Rather of Sirhama and Mudasir Magray of Sirhama.
“All the four were rushed to hospital where from two were referred to SMHS Srinagar for specialised treatment.”
A police official said that a banner had already been put, warning people against venturing towards the encounter site.
Militants attack CRPF post in Shopian:
Militants on Friday morning attacked a CRPF post in south Kashmir’s Shopian town. A police official said the militants fired a few rounds towards a CRPF guard post of mini-secretariat.
“The fire was returned and the militants escaped,” he said.
Soon, after the attack security forces launched searches to nab the militants.