2 Lashkar militants among 9 killed in Valley
SRINAGAR: Even as unidentified gunmen shot dead at least five civilians in Kashmir valley since last evening, the 24-hour-long encounter at Rop-pora, Chadoura, in Budgam district has left killed four persons, including two top militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba and a soldier.
Informed oficial sources told EXCELSIOR that the joint operation of Army’s 5-Kumaon and District Police Budgam at Rop-pora, Chadoura, ended this evening. Fourteen residential houses, eight cowsheds as also three shops got destroyed in exchange of fire as a major blaze occurred during the encounter.
Two senior militant commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba-who were both important members of the Lashkar thinktank Dawat-e-Irshad-e-Milli of Pakistan-got killed. Documents recovered from the debris identified them as Sayeed Rehman Salfi alis Abu Jana and Abu Zurar, both Pakistani nationals. Two AK-56 rifles and six grenades were recovered from the rubble.
Sources said that a civilian, namely Javed Ahmed Najar son of Mohammad Ramzan Najar of Rop-pora also got killed in the cross-fire while as three civilians, namely Abdul Majeed Najar, Nawaz Ahmed Najar and Ghulam Mohammad Dar sustained injuries. Besides, one soldier got killed and two more injured.
However, Defence sources insisted that all the three persons killed in the Chadoura encounter were militants. Residents claimed that Javed Ahmed Najar was a civilian with no militant connections. Here in the Capital city, militants struck twice in the day at Iddgah outskirts but failed to cause much damage to the targeted paramilitary and SOG personnel. At 1030 hours militants targeted an ambulance of BSF 127 Bn near Aali Masjid, Tangbag (Iddgah) with a landmine blast. The targeted vehicle suffered minor damage and four paramilitaries travelling in it sustained injuries. They were identified as Constables Raj Kumar, Srinivas and constable-driver R M Narayan of BSF 127 Bn and constable Ravinder Singh of BSF 36 Bn.
Within seconds, militants caused yet another blast at the same spot. Although the targeted BSF vehicle escaped unharmed, a Maruti car, bearing registrtaion No: JK01A-4153 suffered extensive damage. A civilian, namely Mushtaq Ahmed Bhat S/O Abdul Ahad Bhat of Wattal Kadal, who was travelling in the car, died on spot while as his brother Shabir Ahmed Bhat and two more civilians in the car sustained critical injuries. One of them was identified as Ghulam Nabi Wani of Sayeedpora. SKIMS sources said that Shabir and Ghulam Nabi was battling for life, late tonight. In the afternoon, militants targeted the vehicle of Dy SP of SOG Ganderbal, Jagtar Singh, at the same spot, with a couple of hand grenades. However, Singh and his team escaped unhurt. They fired several shots in air but militants managed to escape.
Reports available from Qazigund said that this evening at 7.30 p.m. unidentified militants appeared at Nusu-Badragund and dragged out one Dilawar Ganai alongwith his son Fayaz Ahmed Ganai out of their home. Within minutes both of them were shot dead. According to residents, they were suspected as counter-insurgent sources.
During last night, unidentified gunmen kidnapped Ahmed Ali Khan from Arin, Bandipore and later shot him dead. His bullet-riddled dead body was recovered today from a nearby locality. He too seemed to have been killed with the allegation of being an informer with security forces. Similarly, gunmen kidnapped a 72-year-old civilian, namely Ghulam Mohi-ud-din from Haren, in Hamam Markote locality of Rafee Abad. He too was shot dead. Today, his dead body was recovered from Compartment No:5 of the nearby forest.
Militants fired pistol shots on Tara Singh S/O Ujagar Singh at Mohalla Sayed Kareem Sahib at Baramulla, at 3.10 p.m today. He died on spot. The shoot-out was made possible near the guarded Cement Bridge in Baramulla town. Officials confirmed that two years back, Singh had acted as an informer with security forces.
Meanwhile, head constable Ghulam Mohammad Mir of J&K Auxillary Police, who was posted at Grid Station of Nihalpora near Pattan, died of an accidental misfire of his own service rifle today when he was on duty.
Militants attacked the police station at Khanyar with grenades and automatic weapons last evening. Security forces and police guards returned the fire and the exchange continued for about 15 minutes in which no one was hurt.
The forces later cordoned off the entire locality and conducted searches to nab the militants responsible for the attack.