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2 militants allegedly behind attacks on non-locals slain in Pulwama

Two Al-Badr militants, allegedly responsible for recent attacks on migrant labourers in Kashmir, were killed in an overnight encounter with armed forces in the Pulwama district, police said on Thursday.

Following inputs regarding the presence of militants in Mitrigam village of Pulwama, a search operation was launched by the forces on Wednesday, a police spokesman said.

During the search operation, as the forces moved towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon the search party which was retaliated that led to an encounter, he said.

In the initial exchange of fire, a soldier received gunshot injuries and was immediately rushed to hospital, police said.

However, the operation was halted to ensure the safe evacuation of all the civilians trapped around the encounter site, the spokesman said.

After the evacuation of civilians, the encounter resumed in which two local militants identified as Aijaz Hafiz of Dalipora, and Shahid Ayoub of Dheeri Murran, linked with proscribed terror outfit Al-Badr, were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the spot, he said.

The spokesman said that as per the police records, both the killed militants were categorised ultras and part of groups involved in several attacks on police/security forces and civilians. The slain was also involved in a series of recent attacks on migrant labourers in Pulwama.

Hafiz was involved in firing upon migrant labourers namely Sonu Sharma, a native of Pathankot, at Yadder Pulwama, Mohammad Akram from UP’s Bijnor at Arihal Pulwama and Vishwajeet Kumar of Banka in Bihar at Circular Road Gangoo, Pulwama, the spokesman said.

“He was also involved in firing upon bank guard Abdul Hamid Wani, a resident of Tahab Pulwama, and Sarpanch Ghulam Nabi Kumar of Panchayat Halqa Arihal B at Arihal Pulwama. Besides these, Hafiz was instrumental in recruiting Shahid Ayoub into ranks,” he said.

The spokesman said Ayoub was involved in firing upon two migrant labourers namely Patlashwar Kumar and Joko Choudhary — both natives of Bihar — at Lajoora Pulwama.

“Before joining militant ranks, he was working as a militant associate and was involved in several other attacks,” he said.

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