Two army jawans were martyred and four Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed by security forces in an ongoing encounter in the Nowpora Yaripora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday.
A gunfight erupted in Nagbal-Frisal, Kulgam, 70 km off Srinagar, on Saturday morning after four holed -up militants opened fire at a party of the security forces.
The militants were identified as Mudasir Ahmad Tantray, Wakeel Ahmad Thokar, Farooq Ahmad Bhat and Muhammad Younis Lone, all residents of Kulgam.
The encounter was followed by massive clashes between the protestors and police, in which at least 18 people were injured. Most of them sustained bullet injuries and four of them were shifted to Srinagar for treatment. One of the injured men, 25-year-old Mushtaq Ibraheem, died in the district hospital.
Health officials said at least 15 youngsters were injured by bullets, pellets and tear gas shells fired by security forces at agitators. The security personnel were attempting to break up protests near Frisal in Kulgam, where four militants, two soldiers and a civilian had been killed in an encounter earlier in the day.
The deceased protester was identified as 24-year-old Mushtaq Ibrahim from Sirgufwara. The youth probably died of bullet wounds, said deputy inspector general of south Kashmir SP Pani, adding that the other injured protesters are out of danger.
According to top army sources, the group of seven terrorists – belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba — had gathered at the house for a meeting. Three managed to escape, one of them in an injured state, after the security forces struck the hideout late last night.
“We have killed four terrorists — two each from Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba. It is a big success for the army and would definitely dampen the morale of the terrorists,” said Brigadier R Chakarwarty.
Two soldiers succumbed to injuries before they could be evacuated for treatment, the official said adding three jawans were airlifted to Army’s 92 base hospital here and their condition was stated to be stable. The security forces returned fire, ensuing in a fierce gunbattle that lasted several hours in which four terrorists were killed, he added.
The search operations were still in progress as security forces suspect that some militants might have managed to escape to nearby areas, the official said.
Four weapons have been recovered from the scene of the gunbattle and security forces were also trying to ascertain the identity and group affiliation of the slain terrorists, he added.