8 terrorists killed in separate encounters in Jammu and Kashmir’s Awantipora, Munand; search operation underway

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At least eight terrorists were killed by security forces in two separate encounters in Pulwama and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir. According to reports, while three terrorists were killed in Pulwama’s Awantipora, five were killed in Shopian. A search operation is currently underway.

According to reports, the first gunbattle took place between forces and terrorists at Meej in Pampore area of Awantipora in south Kashmir. Two terrorists took refuge inside a huge local Jamia mosque for several hours and disobliged appeals made by Iman to surrender themselves. After receiving specific information about the presence of militants there, the forces cordoned off the area and a gunbattle ensued in which both terrorists were neutralised. According to officials, the operation turned into an encounter after militants fired upon the search party, inviting a retaliation.

While conducting the operation at Meej Pampore, full sanctity of the mosque was maintained. Local people and Mosque committee expressed happiness and thanked district police chief Tahir for patience and good supervision. They also complimented the Army and CRPF involved in the operation for restraint.

Another terrorist was killed by forces in Munand area of Shopian district. According to officials, all three slain terrorists were affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Toiba terror outfit.

A top police official said, “Last night, the Awantipora Police launched an operation at village Meez Pampore, along with the Indian Army and other security forces. The target was a house adjoining a big mosque. After an initial exchange of fire, a grenade was thrown outside while the cordon was being laid. The terrorists then shifted to the mosque.”

“The exchange of fire resumed as the terrorists shifted to the adjoining shed. One terrorist has been killed in the operation so far,” the official said. 

Earlier during the midnight, on a tip-off by informants, a joint team of the Awantipora Police, the Indian Army’s 50 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and the Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) had launched a cordon-and-search-operation in Meej Pampore.

The police official said that as the joint team approached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired upon the search party and also lobbed a grenade. The fire was retaliated upon by the joint team, triggering off an encounter. The search operation is still on to neutralize the remaining terrorists in hiding if any.

Meanwhile, late last night, in a joint operation by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the Indian Army’s 1 RR and the CRPF, one terrorist named Imran Nabi of the Hizbul Mujahideen was arrested in the Anantnag district. One pistol, along with six rounds of ammunition and several other incriminating materials were recovered from his possession.

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The India Wire Team

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