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Three militants, minor boy killed in gunfights in Shopian, Bandipora

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Srinagar:     Three militants and a minor were killed in separate gunfights on Friday in Shopian and Bandipora districts of Jammu and Kashmir, taking the number of militants killed over the past 24 hours to five, officials said.

A police official said the encounter in Bandipora’s Hajin, which started on Thursday morning, has concluded. “Two militants were killed in the operation,” said Army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia.

Two AK-47 rifles were also recovered, said the official.

Preliminary reports suggest the slain militants belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and one militant was a ‘commander’.

“A minor, around 12 years old, was also found dead at the encounter site,” said the police.

The Hajin operation ran into a hostage crisis on Thursday. Locals helped the security forces in rescuing two persons from the house where the militants were hiding. The operation resumed on Friday morning and the residential house was blasted in the offensive. Later, three charred bodies were recovered from the spot.

In a separate operation of security forces launched in south Kashmir Shopian, the Army said it killed at least one militant in Ratnipora area.

“One militant was killed and the operation is in progress,” said Colonel Kalia.

However, police official said two militants were presumed dead as firing has stopped at the encounter site.

The operation witnessed a massive protest near the encounter site. Security forces used smoke shells to disperse the protesters.

Meanwhile, the police said it has identified the two militants killed in Baramulla on Thursday.

“One slain militant is Aamir Rasool from Sopore and a Pakistani national,” said the police spokesperson.

The police said they were affiliated to Jaish-e-Muhammad. “Arms and ammunition, including AK 47 rifles, were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror cases,” said the police.

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