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Sopore encounter: Two militants killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district; massive combing operation on

Two militants who were holed up in a house at Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district were killed in an encounter with security forces.

An army official said operations are still continuing in the area. Security forces had launched a cordon-and-search operation in Natipora area of Sopore at around 3.30 am after receiving information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

During the searches, the two militants opened fire on the forces, triggering the gun-battle, he said. The two terrorists were reportedly instrumental in throwing a grenade on its men on Wednesday in Sopore town in which four policemen were injured.

The encounter comes as the situation in the Valley was already precarious after the killing of Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander and Burhan wani's successor in a gunfight with security forces.

Bhat along with another militant, Faizan, was killed in a gun-battle with security forces in the Saimoo area of Tral on Saturday.

Security forces have increasingly facing backlash from from protesters and stone-pelters after such encounter operations. There is increasingly a trend of hero-worship after the slaying of prominent militants.

Situation in Kashmir had deteriorated after Bhat's encounter as separatists had called for shutdowns to protest the top-rated militants killing. The Hurriyat Conference had also called for a "March to Tral" on 30 May.

The authorities had to imposed a curfew in seven police station areas in the Old City and one in uptown Mysuma as a preventive measure. However, thousands of kashmiris defied the strict restrictions to attend the funeral prayers.

The mourners chanted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans while the dead body of the slain Hibzul Mujhaideen commander was being carried on the shoulders, angry young men fought with each other over who will carry the dead body for the funeral prayers.

Before being gunned down on Saturday, Bhat had escaped the security forces dragnet many times, reprotedly with the aid of local stone-pelting mobs. Last month's security forces cordon on 20 villages in south Kashmir's Shopian is believed to have been to nab Bhat, who was said to be hiding in the area — but he managed to escape.

There have been several instances of mobs indulging in stone-pelting on the forces to disrupt such anti-militancy operations in Kashmir. At times, the security forces have also suffered casualties because of such incidents.

On 24 May, another similar incident was reported when some terrorists, including the suspected Kashmir chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Abu Dujana escaped from the dragnet of security forces in Pulwama district, as a stone-pelting mob gave them cover. In another such incident in March, a group of nine heavily armed rebels were trapped in an open field near Kakapora. However, as troops moved in,hundreds of villagers armed with stones descended on the field, to aide the terrorists.

Updated Date: Jun 01, 2017 12:54 PM

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