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Three killed in separate encounters in Kashmir

Last updated on: March 12, 2011 20:10 IST

Security forces on Saturday killed three terrorists, including two who had allegedly snatched rifles from policemen in Kulgam district earlier this week, in separate operations in Shopian and Sopore areas of Kashmir valley. Troops of 44 Rashtriya Rifles and the police jointly surrounded a house in the Lehand Habdipora village on the outskirts of Shopian town yesterday evening on a specific information about presence of two terrorists inside it.

They said an encounter broke out between the hiding terrorists and security forces late Friday night and ended Saturday morning with the killing of both the ultras. The deceased have been identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Chopan and Khursheed Ahmad Ittoo, both residents of Shopian, said a senior police official.

They were suspected to be involved in the attack on policemen in Yaripora area of Kulgam district on Monday as the rifles, snatched from the cops, were recovered from the scene of the gun battle. "Chotta Karimullah, a top commander of Harkat-ul-Mujaheedin was killed in a separate encounter in Muslim peer area of Sopore town in Baramulla district. We have recovered an AK-47 rifle from the spot," said the official.

Security forces launched an operation after receiving information about presence of terrorists in Muslim Peer.The terrorists had taken refuge in a medical shop and started firing on the security forces, they said. Security forces returned fire and one ultra was killed, the official added.

Saturday's gunfight comes close on the heels of the killing of the top commander of Jaishe Mohammad outfit Sajad Afghani who was gunned down in Srinagar on Tuesday in a brief shootout along with his guard on the shores of Dal Lake.
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar