Security forces engage 3 terrorists in Shopian

Three militants, including a Pakistani ‘commander’ of Lashkar-e-Taiba, are trapped in their hideout as a fierce gunfight broke out in Shopian area of South Kashmir on Friday afternoon.

Informed sources said that troops from a unit of Rashtriya Rifles 44th battalion along with Special Operations Group of Shopian District Police launched a cordon-and-search operation at Karewa Manlu, 45 km from Srinagar, on specific information. According to the information available with the Army, two Hizbul Mujahideen and one Lashkar-e-Taiba militant are trapped in their hideout.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police in South Kashmir Vijay Kumar confirmed to a national daily that the gunfight broke out at about 3.15 p.m. as soon as the SOG and the Army cordoned the locality on a hillock. “We have laid a tight cordon and there’s no possibility of the holed up militants’ escape”, Mr. Kumar said.

He said there was a possibility that the holed up militants were from the group that attacked a polling party at Nagbal in Shopian area on Thursday evening when the Electronic Voting Machines were being carried to the district headquarters under heavy security after polling in the Anantnag-Pulwama constituency. One polling officer was killed and five others were injured. All the militants fled the scene.

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