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Posted at: Aug 13, 2017, 11:04 AM; last updated: Aug 14, 2017, 1:43 AM (IST)SHOPIAN ENCOUNTER

2 soldiers killed; Hizb commander, 2 other militants gunned down

2 soldiers killed; Hizb commander, 2 other militants gunned down
Soldiers Sumedh Gowai (left) and Illayaraja P who lost their lives in the encounter.

Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 13

Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Yasin Yatoo, alias Mehmood Ghaznavi, was among three militants killed in a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Shopian district that ended on Sunday.

Two soldiers were also killed and three others were injured in the gunfight that erupted Saturday evening.  

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Police said three militants, including Ghaznavi, were killed in a fierce gunfight at Awneera village, some 70 km from Srinagar, in a joint operation that was launched at around 5 pm Saturday after a tip off about militant presence.

“During the search operation, militants hiding in the area fired upon the joint search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter. Three Hizbul militants, including Hizbul commander Ghaznavi, were killed in the encounter,” a police officer said.

The other slain militants were identified as Irfan-ul-Haq, resident of Maldara Zainapora, and Umar Majeed Mir, resident of Kulgam. 

Ghaznavi (41) was the operational chief of the outfit in Kashmir.  

Two soldiers were also killed in the gunfight late Saturday.

The two slain soldiers killed in the Shopian encounter last evening were identified as Sepoy Ilayaraja P of Kandani Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu, and Sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman of Akola, Maharashtra.

The locals tried to disrupt the operation by pelting stones at the forces. Over a dozen protesters were injured in these clashes.

Bandipore encounter

Meanwhile, two policemen and a soldier were injured in a separate gunfight in Bandipore north Kashmir.

Police said a cordon-and-search-operation was launched this morning in Hajin Bandipore after an input about militant presence.

“As the cordon was being laid, militants fired at the joint party of the forces resulting in injuries to two policemen and an Army jawan,” a police officer said.

The condition of the injured is stated to be stable. Intense clashes broke out in the area to disrupt the anti-militancy operation.

The officer said militants managed to escape taking advantage of heavy stone-pelting.

“The CASO has been called off,” he said.

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