At least seven militants, including the chief of the Al-Qaeda affiliated militant outfit Ansar Gazwat ul Hind (AGH), were killed in two separate encounters in South Kashmir on Friday, according to Jammu and Kashmir police.
While AGH chief Imtiyaz Shah was killed along with another militant during an encounter at a hideout inside an orchard in Tral area of Pulwama, five others were killed in an overnight encounter at a mosque where they were hiding in Shopian, police said.
“We had sent in a militant’s brother urging him to surrender last night, after sending the imam of the mosque where they were hiding. This morning, we sent his parents but still he refused to surrender,” IG Kumar said.
Subsequently, he said, the “forces resorted to tear smoke shelling inside the mosque and fired through the window, trying not to damage the mosque”. Three civilians and at least four security personnel were injured during the encounter.
Among the five militants killed, four have been identified as Shopian residents, Muzamil Manzoor, Adil Ahmad Lone and Basik Ismaiel Bakshi, and Tral resident Younis Ahmad Khanday. The identification of the fifth militant is being ascertained, police said.