Srinagar: Three separate but simultaneous encounters were underway in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday morning, in which an army soldier, a civilian and three terrorists were reportedly killed.
The first gunfight broke out between security forces and terrorists in Noorbagh on the outskirts of Srinagar city earlier in the morning, while another encounter began at Dooru Shahabad in Anantnag district. ANI reported that two terrorists were killed in Budgam's Chadoora town after security personnel engaged in a gunfight with the militants. The search operations were being conducted.
Meanwhile, authorities have suspended internet services in Noorbagh and Dooru Shahabad in the wake of the encounters, ANI reported.
Collectively, three people have been killed, including a civilian, in the ensuing operations. According to NDTV, the soldier and the terrorist, identified as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Ukasha, were killed in the Dooru in Anantnag district, 58 kilometres from Srinagar. The civilian casualty took place in Noorbagh.
"Three Indian Army soldiers were also injured," informed sources said.
A search operation is underway as the security forces suspect more terrorists could be hiding in the area.
Security forces have also launched a cordon and search operation in Qazigund of Anantnag district after receiving information about the presence of militants in the area, an official said.
The search operation turned into an encounter with militants when the insurgents opened fire on the security forces, he said.
The third exchange in Budgam, started after security forces received information that militants have taken control of a religious place in the area after fleeing from a house where they had been hiding, an official told NDTV.
"We have called local elders to persuade the terrorists to come out of the religious place. There was a brief exchange of firing," another senior police officer said.
Gunfights and security operations have become more frequent in an already turbulent Valley as the Panchayat polls come closer. The local body elections have been scheduled for 8 October.
The three encounters come in the wake of the militants' increased offensive against local men working in the security forces, including state police. Recently, militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen abducted and killed three Special Police Officers in the state's Shopian district. The attacks reportedly also pushed many police personnel to resign from the force, however, the home ministry has denied these reports.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Sep 27, 2018 14:06:46 IST