Four terrorists have been killed in a fierce overnight gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
While one of the terrorists was killed on Thursday, three others were brought down after the encounter resumed at dawn. Their bodies along with a large cache of weapons were recovered on Friday from the encounter site in Panjran village of Lassipora area.
The operation was launched on Thursday on specific information about the presence of a group of terrorists hiding in Panjran village.
As the cordon around the hiding militants was tightened, they fired at the security forces triggering an encounter.
According to an ANI alert, two Special Police Officers who had decamped with weapons on Thursday are among the four killed.
The two SPOs, according to news agency ANI, had not reported back to Lines Pulwama. The matter is under investigation.
As a precautionary measure, mobile Internet services in Pulwama district was suspended.
The last two weeks have seen a sudden increase in the number of gunfights and militant killings in the region.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, a Territorial Army jawan was killed by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Police sources said the soldier identified as Manzoor Ahmad Beg of Sadoora village in Anantnag district was shot at and critically wounded by militants inside his home. Manzoor had come home to celebrate the Eid festival with his family.
Meanwhile, the security forces have prepared a hit list of 10 top Pakistani and Kashmiri terrorists for whom a hunt has been launched in the hinterland of the Kashmir valley.
The A++ category Riyaz Naikoo, commander of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), tops the list of the targets of the security forces. He belongs to the Bandipura district of North Kashmir.
Home Minister Amit Shah has held a series of meetings with top officers of his ministry, Security Advisor Ajeet Doval and the top brass of intelligence agencies to discuss the strategy to tackle terrorism in Kashmir.
The fresh list includes terrorists from Hizbul Mujahideen, LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Al-Badr.
The security forces are worried over the issue of about 50 Kashmiri youth reportedly joining terrorism. Efforts were being made to dissuade fresh recruits in militancy.