8 militants killed in two encounters in J-K within 24 hours

Srinagar: Six more militants were killed in two separate encounters with security forces in Pulwama and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir, taking the number of ultras killed in the overnight operations to eight, officials said.

While two militants were killed in the Pulwama encounter, four were killed in Shopian operation on Friday, the officials said.

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Meej in Pampore area of Pulwama, in South Kashmir, on Thursday morning after receiving specific information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants fired upon a search party of the forces.

One militant was killed in the gunfight on Thursday, but two more ultras entered a nearby mosque to take refuge inside it, the official said.

He said the cordon around the mosque was maintained throughout the night.

On Friday morning, security forces used tear smoke shells to force the holed up militants out of the mosque, the officials said, adding the two were then killed by the forces while maintaining the sanctity of the religious place.

In total, three militants were killed in the operation.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said no firing or IED was used to force the militants out of the Mosque.

"Patience and professionalism worked. No use of firing and IED. Used tear smoke shells only. Maintained sanctity of the mosque. Both terrorists hiding inside mosque neutralised," the IGP said.

In another anti-militancy operation at Munand-Bandpava area of Shopian, which also began on Thursday, four more militants were killed on Friday morning, defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said.

The forces had launched the operation there after receiving intelligence inputs about the presence of militants there.

While one militant was killed in the operation there on Thursday, four more were gunned down on Friday, Col Kalia said, taking the number of ultras killed in the encounter to five.

In total, eight militants were killed in these two overnight operations in the last 24 hours.

The IGP Kashmir has congratulated the security forces in Kashmir for killing 100 militants in the valley this year so far.

"IGP Kashmir Shri Vijay Kumar #congratulates “Team Kashmir" for completing a #century on the front of #AntiTerrorist operations. @JmuKmrPolice," Kashmir Zone Police said in a tweet. PTI

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