One soldier, Hizbul militant killed in encounter at Ratnipora in J&K's Pulwama; locals resort to stone pelting
An encounter is underway at Ratnipora village of Pulwama district in South Kashmir. Two soldiers and one militant have died in the gunfight, which broke out after militants opened fire at security forces during a cordon and search operation.
Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Ratnipora around 3 am
A jawan was also injured in the gunfight, though there are varying reports on the number of casualties
Mobile internet services have been suspended in the area
One solider and one militant were killed in an encounter that broke out in Ratnipora village of Pulwama district in South Kashmir early on Tuesday. A jawan was also injured in the gunfight and is being treated for his injuries at a hospital.
Inspector General SP Pani said the encounter, which went on for over six hours, has ended, and that the militant killed was wanted in several cases.
The slain militant has been identified as Hizbul Mujahideen's Hilal Ahmed Rather, the main accused in planning the escape of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Naveed Jhutt last year.
Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Ratnipora around 3 am after getting a tip-off that two to three militants were in hiding in the area, a police official said. The Pulwama gunfight ensued after the militants opened fire on the joint team of the Indian Army, Central Reserve Police force (CRPF) and Jammu and Kashmir Police, following which security forces retaliated.
"During the initial exchange of gunfight in Pulwama, three soldiers suffered injuries and were immediately evacuated to the army's 92 base hospital in Badamibagh, Srinagar, where two of them succumbed," Greater Kashmir quoted a senior police officer as saying.
As the exchange of fire is still on, the site of the encounter in Pulwama has been cordoned off, but reports say clashes between civilians and security forces have already begun. Local residents have begun to pelt stones at the security forces, who have retaliated with tear gas shells.
Mobile internet services have been suspended in the area, Hindustan Times reported.
A police spokesperson said incriminating material such as arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter. "All these materials have been taken in the case records for our investigation. The body of the killed terrorist was handed over to his family after completion of medico-legal formalities," he said.
With inputs from PTI
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