Srinagar: At least 12 terrorists, three Army jawans and a civilian were killed in three separate encounters in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Shopian and Anantnag districts on Sunday.
While a protester, Zubair Ahmed Bhat, was killed on the spot in the security forces’ firing, two critically-injured civilians Iqbal Manzoor Bhat and Mehrajuddin Bhat succumbed in hospitals, the police and hospital sources said.
Mr Vaid also said: “Pellet shotguns too have been used, resulting into injuries to about 25 people, but all of them are stable. A number of J&K police and CRPF personnel too were injured in stone-pelting.”
Other reports put the number of the injured in clashes at between 90 and 100. Reporters covering the clash at Kachdoora said two houses had caught fire in the fighting and with that the exchanges intensified. Later, the corpses of three militants were found lying under the debris. The officials said the operation was called off at twilight but the search of the debris will resume on Monday morning.
“We had inputs about the presence of four to five militants in the area. We will search the debris again tomorrow and see if any more bodies are lying there,” said an Army official.
The militants killed at Dragad have been identified as Adil Ahmed Thoker, Nazim Dar, Ubaid Shafi Malla, Yawar Itoo, Rayees Ahmed Thoker, Zubair Turay and Ashfaq Malik of Pinjura - all residents of Shopian district.
Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt, commander of the Army’s Srinagar-based 15 (Chinar) Corps, said at a hurriedly-called press conference at the headquarters of the counter-insurgency “Victor Force” at Awantipora, 33 km south of here, that two of the slain terrorists, Ishfaq Malik and Rayees Thokar, were behind the murder of Lieutenant Umar Fayyaz Parray.
The young Muslim Kashmiri Army officer of 2 Rajputana Rifles was kidnapped and subsequently brutally killed by militants in Shopian in March 2017. The gory incident had evoked nationwide outrage and a pledge from the Central government that “terrorism will be eradicated from the Valley at any cost”.
The 22-year-old Lt. Parray, posted in the Akhnoor border area of Jammu region, was on leave to be part of the marriage celebrations of his cousin in Batpora village of neighbouring Kulgam district when he was kidnapped by masked gunmen.
The encounters set off protests and clashes at places in the twin districts of southern Kashmir, neighbouring Pulwama and Kulgam districts, Srinagar....