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Shopian encounter: JeM commander among two militants killed

Srinagar, July 10 (UNI) Two militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), including a self-styled commander from Pakistan, were killed in a fierce encounter, which ensued during a Cordoned and Search Operation (CASO) in south Kashmir district of Shopian on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a youth was killed and over a dozen others were injured in security force action to disperse demonstrators near the encounter site, while a man died due to cardiac arrest after he learnt that one of the holed up militants was his son.
The authorities suspended mobile internet service in Shopian and Pulwama as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of rumours on social media.
A Police Spokesman said here that on a tip-off about the presence of militants at village Kundalan in Shopian district, Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPF launched a joint CASO in the wee hours of Tuesday.
However, when the security forces were moving towards a particular area in the village, they came under fire from militants hiding in a house.
He said the search party in their guarded response fired back, leading to an encounter. Some of the civilians in the nearby houses were quickly evacuated by the security forces, he said.
The Police Spokesman said during the encounter, all the militants hiding there were killed. They were identified as Sameer Ahmad Sheikh, a local and Babar from Pakistan. They were affiliated with JeM.
''Sameer Ahmad Sheikh, resident of Rawalpora in Shopian was a school dropout and had joined JeM after he was reported missing from his home since April 2018,'' the Spokesman added.
He said on the basis of documents recovered, the other militant was identified as Babar, JeM commander of Pakistan origin. They were involved in many attacks on the security establishments and civilian atrocities, he added.
Locals alleged that security forces blasted the house, where the militants got trapped during the encounter. The house was totally damaged, they said, adding that the bodies were recovered from under the debris of the damaged house, later.
Official sources said that security forces fired pellets and bullets after bursting of teargas shells had no impact on the demonstrators, who were pelting stones to disrupt the operation against the militants. One of the injured, identified as Tamsheel Ahmad Khan, resident of Vehil, succumbed in a Srinagar hospital, they said.

However, the Spokesman said some civilians were also injured in cross firing at the site of encounter, who were later evacuated to the hospital for medical attention. One of the injured later succumbed to his injuries, while others were stated to be stable, he added.

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