Tribune News Service
Srinagar, October 8
In the first gunfight in south Kashmir post the abrogation of Article 370, two local militants of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed and a civilian was injured on Tuesday.
The gunfight in Kawni village in Awantipora, some 32 km from Srinagar, took place at a time when Kashmir is facing a communication lockdown following the scrapping of Article 370 on August 5.
The anti-militancy operation was launched last night after security forces received an input about the presence of militants in Kawni village. As the joint teams cordoned the suspected area, hiding militants opened fire triggering a brief gunfight.
“In the gunfight that ended this evening, two local militants were killed,” Superintendent of Police, Awantipora, Tahir Khan said.
The slain militants were identified as Ufaid Lone, alias Abu Muslim, of Awantipora, and Mohammad Abbas of Kawani village. Both were associated with the Lashkar. A civilian, identified as Sabzar Ahmed Bhat, was also injured near the gunfight site.
“The two were involved in several terror crimes and civilian atrocities as per police records,” Tahir Khan said. The security forces recovered arms and ammunitions from the encounter site.
“The civilian was lying injured for at least half an hour and it was a Herculean task to rescue him from the encounter site,” the SP said. “The injured civilian was immediately rushed to an Awantipora hospital where from he was shifted to SMHS Hospital. His condition is stable,” he added.
The gunfight took place days after suspected militants lobbed a hand grenade in Anantnag town of south Kashmir that had left 14 people wounded.
After the abrogation of Article 370, anti-militancy operations have slowed down and in the past over two months, only four gunfights have taken place.
Meanwhile, the anti-militancy operation in the upper reaches of Ganderbal district continued for the 12th consecutive day. In the operation that began on September 27, so far two militants, suspected to be Pakistanis, have been killed. The operation is taking place at Trumkhal Gangbal which is inaccessible by road.
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