Millennium Post

20-hr gunbattle ends, two militants killed

A 20-hour-long gunbattle between two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants and security forces in the outskirts of Srinagar ended on Mondaywith the killing of both the ultras and injury to two policemen.

‘The encounter at Ahmadnagar locality of Buchpora ended with the killing of both the militants holed up in a residential house,’ a police officer said.

He said bodies of both the militants were recovered along with a cache of arms and ammunition from the encounter spot. A police spokesman identified the slain militants as Abu Huzaifa and Chota Hafiz.

The gunbattle started last evening when police, assisted by security forces, launched a search operation following specific information about presence of militants in the house in the locality. A policeman was injured in the initial exchange of fire but the operation to neutralise the militants was suspended to ensure safety of civilians, including a couple in whose house the militants had got into, the officer said.

After a night-long lull, the encounter resumed this morning after the ultras let go the house owner Abdul Majid Rangrez and his wife, he said. The officer said the holed up militants refused to surrender and continued intermittent firing on the security forces during which another policeman was injured on Monday.

The security forces tightened the cordon around the house while evacuating the civilians from adjacent houses. They moved cautiously to avoid any collateral damage since Rangrez and his wife were inside the house, the officer said, adding the militants let go the couple -- first the wife and a couple of hours later the house owner.

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