6 militants, minor held hostage killed in separate J&K firefights

They alleged that Mir was brutally killed by two Pakistani terrorists who were also killed in the final assault of the security forces.

Srinagar: Six militants and a minor boy were killed and three Army jawans injured in a series of gunbattles that took place across Kashmir Valley late Thursday night and on Friday.

12-year-old Aatif Ahmed Mir, killed during one of these gunfights, had been held hostage by two militants holed up inside a private house in Hajin area of northern Bandipore district, officials said. They alleged that Mir was “brutally killed by two Pakistani terrorists” who were also killed in the final assault of the security forces.

A police spokesman here said that the Pakistani militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) had initially taken two civilians hostages after the security forces laid siege to the area on Thurs-day evening. However, the police and security forces with the assistance of community members “safely rescued” one of them identified as 60-year-old Abdul Hameed, the spokesman said.

“Another civilian, a 12-year-old boy Aatif Mir, was kept hostage by the terrorists till the end and despite repeated requests by community members and the police for his release, he was brutally killed by them,” the spokesman said.

According to the police, both the militants were killed by the security forces and that from the “incriminating material” recovered at the site of the encounter, “it is understood that the two killed terrorists were Pakistani nationals, identified as Ali and Hubaib”.

Four more militants were killed in similar clas-hes with security forces at Kalantara Payeen in Bar-amulla district and Gadap-ora in southern Shopian district, officials said.

They said that one of the two militants killed at Kalantara Payeen has been identified as Aamir Rasool, a resident of north-western town Sopo-re, whereas the other is believed to be a Pakistani national. The duo, they added, was associated with proscribed JeM, the outfit responsible for the Pulwama terror attack. The identities of the militants killed in Shopian encounter are being ascertained, the officials said.

At least, one dozen people, including policeman Tariq Ahmed, were injured in clashes near the encounter site in Shopian, a report said. Witnesses and hospital sources said that while the policeman was hit by a stone during the clashes, nine persons sustained pellet injuries and one person was hit by a bullet in the neck as the security forces used force to quell the stone-pelting mobs in the area.

During the encounter, nine residential houses and a few cowsheds and granaries caught fire, the reports received here said.

Meanwhile, a J&K policeman Irshad Ahmed was shot and critically wounded by unidentified gunman in Court Road New Townhall area of southern Anantnag town on Friday evening. He was immediately evacuated to the hospital, the police said. It blamed the attack on militants.

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