Shopian encounter: Three terrorists killed, combing ops launched

Encounter occurred in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian

Encounter occurred in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian

At least three Kashmiri youth were martyred in Shopian district and two Indian soldiers were killed in a latest bloodshed in the disputed Himalayan territory.

Three Kashmiri rebels and two Indian soldiers have been killed in a fierce gunbattle in the disputed Himalayan region, police said Sunday.

Police officials suspect two to three militants are holed up in the area. News agency ANI quoted the state's senior superintendent of police as saying that one militant had been killed.

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The slain terrorists have been identified as Yaseen Itoo, a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander along with aides Irfan-ul-Haq Sheikh and Umar Majid Sheikh.

The gun battle began when a team of local police and the Indian army launched searches in Avneera village.

"He is the mainstay of Hizb in Kashmir and his death will deal a severe blow to the outfit's operations", the police officer said, adding that Padroo and Kachroo became active after the 2010 civilian uprising.

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The injured was taken to an Army hospital in Drugmulla where doctors stated his condition to be stable.

The gunfight also left two soldiers martyred while unknown number of militants reportedly escaped from the spot. Itoo was held responsible for instigating the violence in the Valley after the killing of militant Burhan Wani previous year.

Heavy stone pelting has been reported on the spot. This prompted the security forces to wait till dawn while keeping a tight cordon around the area before launching a major strike.

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