Three more militant bodies recovered, Anantnag death toll mounts to six

Nine injured in fresh clashes, two of them critical having firearm injury in head

Srinagar, June 22: Three more militant bodies have been recovered from the encounter site taking the death toll to six so far including a civilian and a cop at Srigufwara area of Anantnag district.

In fresh clashes, nine youth have suffered injuries five of them with bullets which include two youth who have bullet wounds in their heads.

Sources said three more militant bodies were recovered from under the debris taking the overall death toll of militants to four.

Earlier, soon after the encounter broke out, a civilian Muhammad Yousuf Rather, 50, (the owner of the residential house) was killed and his wife Hafeeza was injured.

The locals had alleged that the husband and the wife suffered injuries in government forces firing. As per SOP, the civilian population is to be evacuated by forces before launching any assault against militants.

Later, an SPO Ashiq Hussain, associated with SOG was killed while two army men suffered injuries, they said.

Meanwhile, as soon as the encounter broke out hundreds of people particularly youth marched towards the encounter site, triggering off massive clashes.

The police and paramilitary forces resorted to pellets and bullet firing and used tear smoke shells. Initially, twenty persons suffered injuries and one of them Ubaid Ahmad had bullet injury in his neck and his condition was stated to be serious.

Subsequently, nine youth suffered fresh injuries and five of them have bullet wounds.

Hospital sources said that the condition of two among the five with bullet injuries is stated to be critical having firearm injuries in their heads. Identified as Shahid Nazir Hajam son of Nazir Ahmad Hajam and Burhan Shafi son of Mohd Shafi Bhat, they were referred to SKIMS from Sub-district hospital Bijbehara.

The other injured include Rafiqa Akther, 40, wife of Ghulam Mohd Rather of Nowshera (Trauma Right Hand Bullet Injury), Nissar Ahmad Itoo, 27, of Hatigam (Pellet injury in both legs), Gowhar Ahmad, 25, of Waghama (pellet injury in both arm), Zahid Ahmad, 24, of Waghama (Pellet injury face with left eye), Tahir Ahmad Najar, 26, of Waghama (Bullet injury left arm with fracture), Suhail Farooq, 21, of Nowshera (Bullet injury with left thigh) and Aadil Ahmad Sheikh,22, of Magraypora (Bullet injury left leg), they said.

All the injured were referred to different hospitals of Srinagar for specialized treatment, they said.

Authorities have suspended the Internet service in Pulwama, Anantnag, and Srinagar in the wake of the gunfight and the militant and civilian killings. One of the slain militants is believed to be Dawood Ahmad from HMT, Srinagar.

An army spokesman said that a joint party of police, army, and the CRPF was fired at from a house while they were carrying searches in Nowshera area of Anantnag.

He said an SOG man and a civilian were killed in the militant fire. In the retaliatory fire, he said, two militants were killed.

“While search operations in the adjoining area intensified, militants, hiding in a ‘nullah” fired at the security forces. Two more militants were killed in the ensuing firefight. Total four militants have been killed so far and the operations are underway,” he said. (GNS)

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