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Two militants killed in gunfight; internet suspended in Shopian

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Mudasir Maqbool
Shopian: Two militants, affiliated with Lashker-e-Toiba, were killed in an encounter with government forces in this south Kashmir district on Sunday.
Police sources said that a joint team of army’s 34RR and police’s SOG launched a cordon-and-search operation at Hend Sitapora village of the district following inputs about the presence of militants.
As the joint team was conducting searches in the area, they came under fire from hiding militants, they said. The fire, they said, was retaliated, leading to a gunfight in which two militants were killed.
They said earlier it was believed that Hizb-ul-Mujahideen’s Syed Naveed Mushtaq alias ‘Naveed Babu’, a former policeman, was among dead but with “more clarity now”, the slain are said to be Basharat Ahmad of Nikloora and Tariq Ahmad, policeman-turned-militant, of Khasipora. Tariq had decamped with his service rifle on 26 April last year from Police Post Pakherpora in Budgam where he was posted, they said. Officially there was no confirmation so far as to the killing of the militants or their identification and group affiliation. Meanwhile the authorities have snapped the internet services in the district.

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