J&K: 2 soldiers, Lashkar militant killed in Shopian gunfight

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SHOPIAN, FEB 19 (UNI)- Security personnel taking positions during an encounter with terrorists, two Army persons martyred and one terrorist killed in Shopian district of South Kashmir on Saturday.

Srinagar, (UNI): Two soldiers of the Army’s counter insurgency unit and a local Lashkar-e-Toiba militant were killed in a fierce gun battle in Kashmir on Saturday, officials said.
The gun battle erupted at Chermarg Zainapora village in South Kashmir’s Shopian district when joint teams of police, Army and Central Reserve Police Force started an anti militancy operations in the area following an input about the presence of militants in the area.
Police said the house owner “mislead” the joint forces which led to the Army casualties.
“Based on a specific input provided by the Police, a joint operation was launched during the  intervening night (of Friday and Saturday). Following the drill, a cluster of houses were taken into a cordon and the process of evacuating the civilians was started. During the process, when the search party reached to one of the houses belonging to one Gowhar Ahmd Bhat the house-owner intentionally misled the search party and denied sheltering the terrorist in his house. While he was being questioned, a terrorist in the house opened fire on the search party causing grievous injuries to two of the soldiers…. Later on both injured soldiers attained martyrdom,” a police statement said.
“In the retaliatory action, one terrorist of LeT Abdul Qayoom Dar of Laroo Kakpora Pulwama was neutralised and arms and ammunitions including one AK rifle and a pistol were recovered,” the statement said.
The slain soldiers were identified as Sepoys Santosh Yadav and  Chavan Romit Tanaji of 1 Rashtriya Rifles. Army said both died due to the gunshot wounds.
Police said slain militant Qayoon had a history of being associated with militants for nearly two years.
“In April 2020 an encounter took place in his house. He was arrested and booked under PSA (Public Safety Act). He was released in August 2021 but kept silently working for the militants,” the statement said. “SSP Pulwama officially intimated some days earlier that he had left his house and joined as an active militant of the LeT outfit. Consequently he was categorised as C category militant.”

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