Two militants killed in Tral gunfight involved in ‘series of attacks on forces from a distance’, says police

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Police Wednesday said the two militants killed in a gunfight in Tral yesterday were involved in a “series of attacks on the forces from a distance”.

On Tuesday, two militants were killed in a gunfight with armed forces in Tral area of Pulwama district.

“Apropos our earlier press release regarding Tral encounter it is further informed that the dead bodies of the two militants were recovered from the site of encounter along with arms and ammunition including M4 and AK 47 rifles and other incriminating materials,” said a police spokesman on Wednesday.

The slain militants were identified as Showkat Ahmad Khan, resident of Handoora Tral and Usman from Pakistan, he said, adding they were affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammad.

The spokesman said the same group was involved in a “series of attacks and firing on the security forces’ camp from a distance in recent times.”

On Tuesday, Awantipora superintendent of police Zahid Malik, cited by Greater Kashmir said the forces were searching for the body of a third militant in the debris.

A senior police official said that on Monday night, shortly after militants attacked army’s 42 RR camp at Mandoora, Tral, the forces surrounded and searched Mandoora, Chankitar, Chewa Ullar and some other villages. The searches continued till Tuesday afternoon.

“We had inputs that militants had suffered injuries during Mandoora firing attack and have escaped into nearby villages,” said a police officer.

Following the news of the gunfight, several protestors crowded the bus stand and the main market and pelted the forces with stones. The forces fired teargas canisters to quell the protests.

Protesters also blocked various roads in the main town to restrict the movement of forces’ vehicles towards gunfight site.

The authorities later blocked the internet service in police district Awantipora.

As per reports, the armed forces and their intelligence units in Jammu and Kashmir suspect that a few highly skilled snipers could be active in the Valley, after an Army soldier and two paramilitary personnel were killed in long-range stealth attacks this week.

Snipers who can hide at a single spot undetected for a long time and withdraw after making a kill could also pose a high threat to high profile targets in the valley, sources said.

The recent sniper attacks, reportedly by JeM militants, has emerged as a new source of worry for the agencies in Kashmir Valley.

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