3 militants flee from encounter site in which Sabzar, Faizan were killed

Tral: Three militants among five who were holed up in a house in Saimoo village of south Kashmir’s Tral area managed to escape on Saturday, May 27, locals told Kashmir Narrator. Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, 28, and Faizan Muzaffar, 16, were killed in the gunfight that ensued on Friday evening.

Hizbul Mujahideen militant Sabzar Ahmad Bhat who was killed in an encounter on Saturday, May 27

“They were five in number. As the gunfight ensued, Sabzar and Faizan tried to break the cordon but they were shot dead at the gate of the compound. While as three others hid inside the house,” a local said, adding that as soon as the forces left, they came out and disappeared.

The identity of the trio, however, couldn’t be ascertained.

The locals said that they were puzzled when the forces left the encounter site without barging into the house where the militants were hiding.

“We don’t know why they left. Perhaps their target was only Sabzar and they left without barging into the house,” another local said.

The villagers also debunk the media reports that said that the militants attacked an army patrol on Friday evening.

“What actually happened army cordoned off the village on Friday evening and in a brief exchange of gunshots, Sabzar was badly injured. A bullet had pierced his leg and he couldn’t move. They took shelter in a nearby house which was again cordoned off by the forces on Saturday morning,” the locals said.

Three houses were damaged in the gunfight between the militants and the government forces.

“They managed to come out the house they were hiding but couldn’t escape as the whole area was cordoned off. Then they made their way into another house. And both houses are badly damaged while the third one in the compound is partially damaged,” said the local.

Sabzar, categorised as A++ militant by the police, was active since 2015 soon after Burhan Wani’s brother Khalid Wani was killed by the government forces. After Wani’s death last July, Sabzar took over the reins of the militant outfit.

While as Faizan, a resident of Tral Payeen, had joined the militant ranks just two months ago after snatching a rifle from a policeman in Tral.

As the death of the duo spread across Kashmir, youth took to streets to protest the killing. In Tral, a youth identified as Aqib Moulvi died as a bullet hit his forehead during clashes while as 80 people were injured across Kashmir.

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