Yatoo, HM’s operational commander among the three militants killed in Shopian: Police

Two army men killed; Civilian injured in Dalgate blast succumbs; Two cops injured in Bandipora firing

Srinagar: The night-long fierce encounter in Awnera village in Shopian ended on Sunday with the killing of two army men and three local Hizbul Mujahideen militants including its Operational Commander Yasin Yatoo alias Mahmood Ghaznawai.

SSP Shopian A Dinkar told news agency KNS that Yatoo alias Mahmood Ghaznavi is among the three militants killed in the encounter.

He said that Adil Malik who was identified among the three is alive.

“Adil Malik and Yasin Yatoo resembled each other. But we checked again and the third body is of Yasin Yatoo,” the SSP told KNS.

“We have called his family for confirmation too, but we are sure it is him,” he said.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Khan told KNS that in the encounter three local HM militants were killed by forces.

“Three militants were killed. They are all locals and belong to Hizb. Three AK-47 rifles have been recovered from them,” Khan said.

The two other slain militants were identified as Umar Majid Sheikh, resident of Kathpora Yaripora and Irfan ul Sheikh, resident of Maldaira Shopian.

The gunfight started on Saturday evening in the village when Army’s 3 RR, 55 RR, police and SOG had started cordon and search operation on Saturday evening after inputs about presence of a group of militants, including some top commanders of HM, police officials said.

The officials said the militants fired on security forces when the cordon and searches were being conducted in which five army men were injured.

The injured were rushed to 92 Base Hospital at BB Cant where two succumbed to their injuries.

The slain army men were identified as Sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman, 25, and Sepoy Ilayaraja P, also 25 years-old.

“The three injured including a Captain, are recuperating at the hospital,” officials said.

They said that during the gunfight, four houses were also damaged.

Authorities suspended internet services in Shopian and Kulgam to prevent spreading of information about the encounter and mobilization of people towards the encounter site.

As the encounter ended, clashes erupted in Zainapora and other areas in Shopian when forces were winding up the operation and returning from the encounter site in which several protesters were injured among which one was referred to a Srinagar hospital.

Meanwhile, two policemen were injured on Sunday in Hajin, Bandipora when militants fired on them during a cordon and search operation in the area.

Police officials said the militants managed to escape as local residents hurled stones at the forces to disrupt the operation and help militants fled.

Meanwhile, a civilian, Imtiyaz Ahmad Mir of Hawal, Srinagar, who was injured during an explosion yesterday near Budyari Chowk, Dalgate, succumbed to his injuries.

Police said that Mir was admitted at SMHS Hospital and he was referred to SKIMS Soura during wee hours today for further treatment.

“He succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS,” the police said.

(With inputs from KNS)

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