Six unidentified militants were killed in two separate gunfights in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Thursday.

 

Three militants were killed in the first gunfight, in Warnow, Lolab. The gunfight broke out when a joint team of the police and Army launched a search after an input about the presence of heavily armed militants in the forest.

Defence spokesman at Srinagar Col NN Joshi said, "three AK rifles and war-like stores were recovered from the encounter site."

The search was underway in the area when reports last came in. The affiliation of the slain militants could not be ascertained immediately.

As the operation was underway in Lolab, another gunfight broke out in the neighbouring Waterkhani forest in Drugmulla when the Army launched a search operation in the forest.

“Three militants were killed in the gunfight. The operation is still underway,” said Kupwara Superintendent of Police Aijaz Bhat. Anti-militancy operations in Kupwara were being carried out days after a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant from Pakistan, Hanzullah, alias Abu Ukasha, was arrested in Sogam, Kupwara, while purchasing eatables from the market.

After his arrest, the police and Army had launched a manhunt for his four Pakistani accomplices. Police sources suspected the three militants killed in Drugmulla to be accomplice of Hanzullah.

The third operation got under way in the neighbouring police district of Handwara when a group of militants was intercepted by the Army at Waderbala in Handwara. There was a brief exchange of fire and searches were being carried out in the dense forest.

Meanwhile, gunmen threw two hand grenades in Sopore. The first grenade was thrown towards a police vehicle at Amargarh around 5 pm. The grenade exploded on the road, but no one was injured.

Soon after the incident, the police, CRPF and Army cordoned off the area to trace the gunmen involved in the attack. Around an hour later, another grenade was lobbed in the town.