Indian security forces have killed eight suspected militants in encounters in Shopian and Pulwama districts of Jammu and Kashmir since Thursday, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday. Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said both operations – in Pulwama and Shopian – had started on Thursday and resumed on Friday morning. The security forces have not yet identified the suspected militants or the organisations they belonged to.
Security forces killed a suspected militant in Bandapoh area in Shopian on Thursday afternoon, The Hindu reported. On Friday, Indian Army spokesperson Rajesh Kalia said a total of five suspected militants had been killed in Shopian since Thursday.
Security forces had launched a cordon-and-search operation at Meej in the Pampore area of Pulwama district on Thursday, when a gunfight erupted. One suspected militant was eliminated in the gun battle, NDTV reported. Two more entered a mosque, which the security forces surrounded.
Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said on Friday that an imam of the mosque confirmed the presence of the militants. “#MeejPamporeEncounterUpdate: #Patience & #professionalism worked,” the Kashmir Zone Police tweeted. “No use of firing & IED [Improvised Explosive Devices]. Used tear smoke shells only. Maintained #sanctity of the #mosque. Both #terrorists hiding inside mosque neutralised.”
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh identified the structure as the huge Jamia mosque, ANI reported.
Security forces have eliminated many suspected militants over the last month. On Sunday, two suspected militants were killed in Nipora area of Kulgam district. On June 10, the security forces had killed five suspected militants in Shopian. Nine more militants were killed in two separate gunfights in the district.
Earlier, DGP Singh had said that the security forces have eliminated 22 militants, including six top commanders, in nine operations in 14 days. He had added that there could be around 150 to 250 militants in the Kashmir region and 125 to 150 in Jammu region.
The Kashmir Zone Police said on Friday that Vijay Kumar congratulated the forces for eliminating 100 suspected militants.