4 militants killed in Pulwama, Kulgam encounters

A top Lashkar I Toiba commander was among two militants killed in a brief gunfight in Dadoora Kangan village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.

He was identified as Zahid Nazir Bhat alias Zahid Tiger of Drubgam village.

Listed as category A ++ militant, he was the cousin of slain Hizb commander Sameer Tiger.

“Zahid was involved in several attacks on security forces and was a key recruiter,” a police official said.

He said his associate killed in the encounter was Adnan from Pakistan.

The bodies have been taken by police to PCR Srinagar where from they would be taken 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.

A police official said that one militant was captured alive near the gunfight site.

“He has been identified as Firdous Ahmad Tak from Doda.”

Earlier, a joint team of army’s 55 RR, special operation group (SOG) of JK Police and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation on specific information about the presence of militants in the area.

“As the forces approached towards the suspected spot, the militants fired upon them which was retaliated, triggering a gunfight,” he said.

The police official said both the militants were killed in a brief exchange of fire.

“Arms and ammunition was recovered,” he said.

Pakistani national among two JeM militants killed in Kulgam:

A Pakistani national was among two Jaish I Muhammad militants killed in an encounter in the Yaripora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Saturday.

The slain were identified as Tariq Ahmad Mir of Zangalpora Devsar, Kulgam, and Sameer Bhai alias Usman of Punjab Pakistan listed as a category-A militant.

A police official said that acting on specific information, special operation group (SOG) of JK Police, army’s 1 RR, and 18 Battalion CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Chinigam, Frisal late night.

“As the search party zeroed in towards the suspected spot, they were fired upon. The fire was retaliated, triggering an encounter,” he said.

The police official said the fierce exchange of fire continued throughout the night.

“The searches were launched early in the morning and two bodies were recovered,” he said.

A police official said arms and ammunition including a US-made M4 carbine were recovered from the slain militants.

The bodies of the duo were taken by police to north Kashmir’s Handwara for burial.

“The duo was involved in several attacks on police and village representatives,” a police official said.