Two non-local Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed and one local militant surrendered in the midst of a live encounter during an 18-hour long operation in south Kashmir’s Pulwama on Friday.
A civilian was also killed and another civilian and a soldier were injured.
“Due to the darkness, the operation was suspended on Thursday night at Lalpora-Chatlam area,” said Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar. “It was resumed in the early hours. In the ensuing encounter, two trapped terrorists were killed. However, one local terrorist offered to surrender. He agreed to lay down his arms and ammunition during the live encounter.”
The surrendered militant was identified as Khawar Sultan Mir, a resident of Drangbal in Pampore. “All the three terrorists were affiliated with the LeT,” IGP Kumar said. The slain non-local militants were identified as Umar Bhai and Huzaifa.
At least nine local militants have surrendered during live encounters in Kashmir this year. In a video released later, the surrendered militant said he was safe and asked other armed youths to also surrender.
The IGP congratulated the joint team of the police and the Army for showing “utmost patience and exhibiting professionalism, which resulted in saving the life of a local misguided youth.”
“Local misguided youth are always welcome to return to the mainstream. This year has been successful as many of them are returning,” the IGP said.
The two civilians were injured “when the hiding terrorists fired indiscriminately,” according to the police. One of them, identified as Abid Ahmad Mir from Pulwama's Meej area, succumbed to his injuries.
Internet services were suspended in the area, as the security agencies feared protests over the death of the civilian.