36-hr long encounter ends in Shopian:  2 militants, non local labourer, soldier killed | KNO

36-hr long encounter ends in Shopian:  2 militants, non local labourer, soldier killed | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, August 03 (KNO) : An encounter between government forces and militants which lasted for more than 36 hours in Pandushan village of South Kashmir's Shopian district ended on Saturday with the killing of two militants, a non local civilian and a soldier. Officials told KNO that a cordon was laid by joint team of forces including 34 RR, SOG and CRPF in the area on Thursday night after receiving specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area. After searching for more than five hours, contact was established with militants at around 01:00 am on Thursday night and exchange for fire lasted for few minutes only. “The operation was later suspended till Friday morning,” he said. The officer said that during initial exchange of fire, an Army man was injured who was shifted to Army hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. On Friday morning, contact was established again and exchange of fire continued for many hours and later one militant body was recovered from encounter site, he adding that he was identified as Zeenat-ul-Islam Naikoo, son of Mohammad Ishaq Naikoo Memendar Shopian. Later on while clearing rubble, another militant fired upon forces after which exchange of fire continued till Saturday morning and finally his body along with weapon was recovered on Saturday afternoon, he said. His identity was being ascertained. The officer said that near encounter site the body of non-local labourer namely Mujeeb, a resident of Bihar with bullet marks was recovered. He said that Mujeeb was killed by militants in the initial firing. Meanwhile, Zeenat's body was handed over to family on Friday evening and he was laid to rest on Saturday. Eyewitnesses told KNO that he was laid to rest after multiple funeral prayers in presence of thousands of people amid pro freedom and pro militant slogans. Meanwhile, during clashes on Friday and Saturday near encounter site, several youth received injuries, sources said. Three houses belonging to Mohd Yousuf Mantoo, Fayaz Ahmad Itoo and Bashir Ahmad Itoo got completely damaged during encounter, sources said. Meanwhile, in wake of gunfights, the internet services continued to remain suspended in Shopian district from last three days.(KNO)