8 militants, minor boy killed in Kashmir encounters in 24 hours | KNO

Six residential houses damaged, 8 forces personnel including an army officer injured, 12 protestors injured in clashes at gunfight sites, 1 critical
8 militants, minor boy killed in Kashmir encounters in 24 hours | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, March 22 (KNO) : A total of seven militants along with an 11-year-old boy were killed in four separate encounters in the last 24 hours at separate places in north and south Kashmir districts. Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in a fierce gunfight with security forces in Bandipora district on Friday. One of the militants killed in the encounter in the district's Hajin area was identified as Pakistan-based LeT commander Ali Bhai. An 11-year-old boy, who was held hostage according to police, was also killed in the encounter. On Thursday, police had tweeted that two civilians were held hostage by the militants of which one was rescued. Videos of repeated appeals being made to the militants holed up at Hajin, also went viral on social media showing an elderly man asking militants to free the civilians struck inside the house. Two more militants were killed in an encounter in Shopian district's Ratnipora area on Friday. Security forces had holed-up several militants inside a house in Ratnipora, officials said told KNO. A team of Special Operations Group (SOG) and 34 Rashtriya Rifles of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were carrying out a cordon and search operation in the area. In Sopore’s Warpora area, security forces killed two militants after a gunfight on Friday. As a precautionary measure, internet services have been snapped in Shopian and Sopore while in other parts of south Kashmir, it has been reduced to 2-G. All educational institutions have also been closed in Sopore. On Thursday, two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants were killed in an encounter with security forces at Kalantara in Baramulla district while three security force personnel, including an officer, suffered injuries during the operation. In the four gunfights, six residential houses were razed to the rubble, while as eight forces personnel including an army officer sustained injuries, which are stated to be stable. Two civilians also sustained injuries one of them critical at Shopian gunfight sight, witnesses revealed to KNO. Elsewhere, in Sopore, Kanantara, Baramulla and Hajin, at least 12 protestors’ sustained pellet and tear smoke shell injuries but all of them were stable. Sources said that protestors tried to disrupt the operations with the result; they fired tear gas shells to quell them. “No body among the injured protestors is serious or critical,” sources said.(KNO)