Five militants, including an IED expert, were killed in three separate encounters with armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday and Sunday, police said.
While two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were slain in Shopian district, two Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind ultras were killed in Pulwama district and one died fighting in Anantnag
Giving details, a police official said acting on specific input about the presence of militants in Chowgam village in Shopian, security forces launched a cordon and search operation there on Friday night.
“During the operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained, they were given ample opportunities to surrender. However, they denied it and fired indiscriminately at the joint search party which was retaliated, leading to an encounter,” he said.
In the ensuing gunbattle, two militants were killed, the official said, adding their bodies were later retrieved from the encounter site.
He identified the two ultras as Sajad Ahmad Chak, a resident of Braripora, Shopian, and Raja Basit Yaqoob, a resident of Achan Litter, Pulwama.
“As per police records, both the slain were categorized militants linked with LeT and were part of groups involved in several attacks. Besides, Chak was instrumental in motivating and recruiting the youth to join militant folds,” the official said.
He said incriminating material and arms and ammunition including two AK series rifles, four AK magazines and 32 rounds were recovered from the encounter site.
The recovered material has been taken into case records for further investigation, he added.
The official said another encounter broke out between militants and forces in Hardumir in the Tral area of Pulwama district.
He said as the presence of the militants was ascertained, they were given ample opportunities to surrender but they refused.
In the ensuing gunfight, two militants were killed and their bodies retrieved from the site of the encounter, he said.
The official identified them as Nadeem Nazir Bhat, a resident of Koil Shikargah Tral, and Rahi Rasool Bhat alias Adil, a resident of Kanipora Dadsara.
In a tweet, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said Bhat was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert.
The militants were linked with the Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) and were part of groups involved in several cases, including an IED blast and grenade attacks on police and forces’ establishments, the police official said.
He said two AK series rifles were recovered from their possession.
Meanwhile, a gunfight broke out between militants and forces in the Srigufwara area of Anantnag district on Saturday night, the official said.
Reports said a militant belonging to the Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir outfit, who was involved in the killing of a police officer, was killed in an encounter on Sunday.
It was the third encounter between forces and militants in south Kashmir on Saturday. Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar identified the slain as Faheem Bhat, resident of Kadipora Anantnag.
“He has recently joined #terror outfit ISJK and was involved in the killing of ASI Mohd Ashraf, who was posted at PS Bijbehara,” the IGP Kashmir said in a tweet. ASI Ashraf was shot dead by militants outside Bijbehara hospital on Wednesday evening.