SRINAGAR: FOUR local militants were on Sunday killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, the Army said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Daramdora area of Shopian, following information about the presence of militants there, an Army official said. He said as the forces were conducting searches, the hiding militants fired upon them. The security forces retaliated, the official said, adding four militants were killed in the gunbattle.
A police spokesman identified them as Rafi Hassan Mir, Suhail Ahmad Bhat, Showkat Ahmad Mir and Azad Ahmad Khanday. While Showkat Ahmad Mir had joined militant ranks in 2015, the other three had recently joined him. “Showkat was instrumental in recruiting Azad, Rafi and Suhail in terrorist ranks. Showkat was initially associated with Hizbul Mujahideen,” he said. While the spokesman did not comment on the affiliation of the slain militants, sources said they were affiliated to Ansar Gazwatul Hind, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda..
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