Shopian Gunfight: Five militants believed to have escaped, cordon called off

At least five militants managed to escape from the gun fight site in Turkwangam village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

An official said that a cordon and a search was launched in the village following a tip-off about the presence of militants on Wednesday. He said the militants opened fire on the forces, triggering a brief gunfight.

At least three militants are believed to have escaped after the initial firefight, which left a subedar-major of army wounded. He was shifted to army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar for treatment.

As soon as the news of gunfight spread, youth took to streets and clashed with the forces to disrupt the anti-militant operation. The forces fired live ammunition, pellets and teargas into the protesters near the gunfight site, resulting into death of a youth Umar Kumar of Pinjura and injuries to 30 others.

As youth continued to clash with the forces, two more trapped militants managed to escape from the cordoned off area, with the support of locals, said a source. He said that a top commander of the Hizb ul Mujahideen, Zeenat ul Islam was also among the trapped militants.

The locals alleged that the armed forces, which continued their cordon till the wee hours of Thursday, destroyed two houses during the search operation. The locals said that one of the house belonged to the father-in-law of Hizb commander Zeenat-ul-Islam.

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