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Posted at: Nov 7, 2018, 1:08 AM; last updated: Nov 7, 2018, 1:08 AM (IST)

Army deserter among two Hizb ultras killed in Shopian gunfight

South Kashmir resident left JAKLI unit in Bihar in April to join militancy
Army deserter among two Hizb ultras killed in Shopian gunfight
Security personnel near an encounter in the Valley. file Photo

Suhail A Shah

Anantnag, November 6

Two militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen, one of them an Army deserter, were killed in a pre-dawn encounter on Tuesday in Shopian district of south Kashmir, some 60 km from Srinagar.

The slain militants have been identified as Muhammad Idrees Sultan, a resident of Safnagri village in Shopian district, and Amir Hussain Rather, a resident of Awneera village in the district.

Idrees deserted his Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) unit in Bihar in April this year to join the proscribed outfit, while Amir joined the outfit in May.

The cordon and search operation (CASO) in Safnagri village of Shopian district was launched by a joint team of the Army, CRPF and the police around 3 am on Tuesday morning.

“There were specific inputs regarding the presence of militants in the area,” a senior police officer from the district said.

He said the militants dashed out of a residential house they were holed up in as the cordon was being tightened and tried to flee the spot using indiscriminate fire as cover.

“The fire was retaliated and in the brief shootout both of them were gunned down, right outside the house. By 4 am, both were killed,” the police officer said.

The operation was declared over by 6 am. There were no clashes around the site of the encounter. Internet services were snapped across Shopian district when the CASO was being laid but was restored later in the morning.

The bodies of the militants were handed over to the families following which funerals were held at their respective villages. Thousands attended the funeral prayers.

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed across Shopian district following the killing of the militants.

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