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2 militants killed in Kupwara encounter

SRINAGAR: Two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, five security forces’ personnel, including a CRPF officer, and a civilian were killed during a 56-hour encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district, police said on Sunday.

The operation at Kupwara’s Babagund area took time as the topography of the area posed “considerable difficulties” to security forces, a police spokesman said here.

Two militants were killed by the security forces in the encounter which began on Friday morning, he said.

The spokesman said that the bodies of both the militants were recovered from the site of the encounter. They were affiliated to the LeT, he said.

One of the militants killed in the encounter has been identified as a foreigner from Pakistan, while the identity of the other is being ascertained, the spokesman said.

He said that a CRPF jawan, Sham Narayan Singh Yadav, who was injured in the exchange of fire on Friday, succumbed to injuries on Sunday, taking the number of security forces’ fatalities to five.

Two CRPF personnel – Inspector Pintu and Constable Vinod – and two policemen – Selection Grade constables Naseer Ahmad and Ghulam Mustafa Barah – were killed in the gunfight on Friday, the spokesman said.

He said that one civilian, Waseem Ahmad Mir, also suffered bullet injury “in the nearby area” and succumbed at a hospital on Friday.

The encounter began early Friday morning when security forces launched a search operation in the Babagund area of Kupwara, in north Kashmir, following information about presence of militants there.

The spokesman said the topography of the area posed “considerable difficulties” to the security forces.

“The area where the terrorists were hiding was very congested and civilians in the adjoining houses had to be evacuated to safer places away from the site of encounter,” he said.

He said that incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of the encounter.

Police have registered a case and the incriminating material retrieved from the site of encounter have been taken in the case records for further investigation and to probe the militants complicity in other terror cases, the spokesman said.

He appealed to the people not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area could prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials.

“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, an explosion took place in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, but there was no loss of life or injury, the police said.

“A blast has been reported from Awantipora (in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district) this evening,” a police officer said.

Officials from the local police unit are ascertaining the facts at the spot, he added.

No loss of life or any injury has been reported, the official said, adding further details were awaited.

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