4 militants’ killing thwarted major Srinagar-Jammu highway strike: police

Kulgam encounter took place in area close to Srinagar-Jammu highway, says IGP Vijay Kumar

The killing of four local militants in two operations in Kulgam and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir thwarted a major attack on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the police said on Thursday.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said the two militants killed in Kulgam were planning a big strike on the national highway. “In fact, the encounter took place in an area close to the highway,” he noted. He congratulated the security agencies for three successful operations in the past 24 hours. “Five militants have been killed in three encounters,” he pointed out.

On the night-long operations in Kulgam and Pulwama, an Army spokesman said a joint team set up multiple checkpoints at Zodar area of Kulgam in the night. “At 3:00 a.m., a white Maruti car was asked to stop for checking. The terrorists, on seeing the troops, started firing and ran towards the adjoining forested area. The area was immediately cordoned and a firefight followed.”

In the joint operation, Shahbaaz Ahmad Shah of the Jaish-e-Muhammad, active since July 2020, and Nasir Ayub Pandit of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), active since June 2021, were neutralised. “One AK-47, one pistol and a large quantity of ammunition were recovered,” the Army stated.

In Pulwama, a cordon was laid around a built-up area in Puchhal area. “At 3 a.m., terrorists lobbed grenades on the cordon party and tried to escape. A call for surrender was made but the terrorists retaliated by firing and lobbing grenades at the security forces. In the ensuing gunfight, two terrorists of the LeT were eliminated,” the Army spokesman observed.

The two militants were identified as Kifayat Sofi and Inayat Ahmad Dar from Pulwama. “One AK-47, one pistol and war-like stores were recovered from the encounter site,” the spokesman added.

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