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Encounter in Kashmsir leaves 14 deaths in Ramadan

Special Correspondent
Indian Security forces in Kashmir killed two more Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants on in Damhal Hanjipora area of Kulgam district Wednesday.
The latest encounter was the seventh in this month of Ramdan. A total of 14 militants have been killed so far in these encounters. Two civilians also lost their lives during these gunfights.
Of the seven major gun-battles since May 10, five took place in Pulwama, Shopian, and Kulgam and one in Sopore area of Baramulla district. In two other instances, the militants managed to flee after the initial exchange of fire in Anantnag and Shopian districts.
Describing the latesgt incident, a police official said that acting on a credible input, the forces launched a cordon and search operation in Gopalpora village.
“During the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter,” he said.
The five-hour-long gunfight, which began at 3am, finally ended after the security forces blew up the house the militants were hiding in.
“Three houses were damaged in the gunfight, one of them completely,” a local resident told Greater Kashmir.
“Incriminating material including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter,” a police official said.
The deceased were identified as Zahid Ahmad Mantoo son of Bashir Ahmad Mantoo from Feeripora, Shopian, and Irfan Manzoor son of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat of Paonwhi, Kulgam.
Zahid, 24, was a student of a religious seminary and a Hafizi Quran, one who has memorised the entire Quran. Irfan, 20, was pursuing graduation when he picked up arms. The bodies of both militants were later handed over to their families for last rites.
Multiple rounds of funerals were offered for both the militants in their native villages. Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in entire Kulgam to mourn the killing of two militants.
The internet services in the district also remained suspended.
Under a tense situation in Kashmir, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, Army Commander, Northern Command, met Governor Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhavan on Wednesday.
Lt Gen Singh briefed the Governor about the overall security situation along the International Border, Line of Actual Control, Line of Control and hinterland and the anti-militancy operations being conducted by the Army.
The Governor and the Army Commander also discussed the security arrangements in place for the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra 2019 in Kashmir.

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