2 civilians, 2 militants killed in Anantnag gunfight

Srinagar, Jul 1

Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants and two civilians were killed during a gunfight in Kashmir’s Anantnag district today, reports said.

The two militants have been identified as Bashir Ahmad Wani aka Bashir Lashkari of Kokernag, a Lashkar commander, and Azad Malik aka Dada.

Lashkari and Malik were holed up in a house in Dailgham village along with two other militants after forces launched a cordon-and-search operation early in the morning when they received information about their presence, a police official told a news agency.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire on the forces.

A police spokesman said the militants were using civilians as human shields and that efforts were on to rescue them. However, Greater Kashmir reported that forces used locals as human shields.

The police said that Bashir Lashkari and his men were responsible for killing six policemen, including an SHO, on June 16.

“The trapped ultras were involved in the killing of an SHO and five other policemen in Achabal area of south Kashmir on June 16,” a police spokesman told the news agency.

The two civilians killed have been identified as Tahira and Shadab Ahmad Chopan.

Police claim that Tahira, 44, died in the crossfire, while as Chopan, 21, was allegedly killed in forces’ action against protesters near the encounter site, the report said.

Chopan was hit with a bullet in his face and was declared dead at SKIMS hospital here, an official said. Four other persons have been admitted to hospitals here with bullet injuries sustained near the site, he added.

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