Militant killed in Sopore, civilian in Kulgam
22 September 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Even as one militant got killed in Tarzoo, Sopore, and suspected militant killed a 20-year-old youth in Kulgam area, at least five militants escaped in two major gunbattles with security forces in Kashmir valley today. Informed sources told the EXCELSIOR that militants hiding at a house in Astan Mohalla of Tarzoo in Sopore fired upon a patrol party of BSF 55 Bn today. Troops cordoned off a cluster of houses and launched a search operation when two militants of Hizbul Mujahideen were found hiding at the house of one Abdul Aziz Wani S-o late Ghulam Mohammad Wani. Sources said that one of the armed militants, who was identified as Ishtiaq Pir of Haigam, managed to escape with his AK-47 rifle. His accomplice was shot dead by troops. He was identified as Pervez Ahmed Bhat S-o Abdus Samad Bhat R-o Amarpora, Sopore. Officials maintained that both the militants belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen. Defence spokesman at headquarters 15 Corps, Col Hemant Juneja, said that RR 52 Bn and SOG eliminated a militant. He said that one AK-56 rifle was recovered from the militant killed. However, eyewitnesses insisted to this newspaper that just a pistol with two magazines was recovered. Reports from north Kashmir added that an encounter took place between militants and troops of RR 18 Bn at Tsayawan Khurhama, Lolab which lasted for a couple of hours. Sources said that all the four militants, spotted in the jungle area, managed to escape. It was for the 5th successive time that militants managed to escape from the cordon-and-search operation in Kupwara district in the last 12 days. Reports from south Kashmir said that late last night, suspected militants barged into the residence of one Ghulam Ahmed Sheikh at Tsogalpura, Damhal Hanjipora and kidnapped his 20-year-old son, Nigar Ahmned Sheikh, who was later shot dead.