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Pulwama encounter: Jaish-e-Mohammed confirms Masood Azhar's nephew, Talha Rashid, among three militants killed

The Indian security forces killed three militants, including the nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, during an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Monday, reports said.

CNN-News18 reported that Azhar's nephew Talha Rashid was gunned down in Pulwama's Aglar Kandi. Times Now also confirmed the news.

Speaking to Times Now, an Indian Army official said, that the three militants belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammed group and that two of them were from Pakistan.

Initial reports published in local news websites named the three militants as Talha Rashid (nephew of Azhar), Mehmood Bhai and Wasim Ahmad, a resident of Drabgom in Pulwama. The Kashmir Dispatch, a local news website, also quoted a press release issued by Jaish-e-Mohammed as verifying that one of the slain militants was Talha Rashid.

That the militants killed on Monday were members of Jaishe-e-Mohammed was also confirmed by Muneer Khan, IG, Jammu and Kashmir Police along with the representatives of the Indian Army and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in a press conference on Tuesday. Khan also said that an M4 rifle, besides two AK-47 rifles, were recovered from the encounter site highlight the link between the Pakistan Army and the JeM.

Security forces had launched a cordon-and-search operation in the Kandi belt following information about the presence of some militants, reported PTI.

The search operation had led to a gunbattle after the militants fired at the security forces. Following special intelligence inputs, troops of the Rashtriya Rifles, state police, and the Central Reserve Police Force had surrounded Aglar village on Monday evening.

As the security forces closed in on the militants, they were fired at, triggering the gunfight which was on till late night on Monday, reports said. "The militants were holed up in two houses. They tried to flee in the darkness, but we managed to neutralise them," the official told Times Now.

According to the army officials, one jawan, identified as Sham Sunder of 44 Rashtriya Rifles, was killed during the encounter.

A civilian also suffered injuries in the crossfire, they said. Identified as Tariq Ahmad, the civilian sustained a bullet injury during simultaneous clashes between protesting civilians and the security forces near the encounter site. The protesters were trying to disrupt the operation against the holed up militants.

Police said that the injured civilian was shifted to hospital and reinforcements have been rushed to the area to augment the strength of the security forces engaged in the gunfight.

Meanwhile, internet in Pulwama district was suspended to check the spread of rumours in the area.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Nov 07, 2017 14:02 PM

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